- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A state accountability commission signed off Friday on a settlement with former Gov. Dave Heineman, who agreed to pay $250 for using public resources to announce his application for the University of Nebraska president’s job.

Heineman agreed to the amount on Feb. 26, according to an announcement Friday by the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission.

The settlement stems from an ethics complaint the Nebraska Democratic Party filed last year against Heineman. The complaint accused Heineman of violating laws that prohibit public employees from using state resources for financial gain or to campaign for a public office.

The complaint said Heineman, a Republican, announced his candidacy for university president using his state staff, stationary, office space and social media accounts.

The commission ruled that Heineman violated state law, but opted not to impose a civil penalty. Instead, the $250 is reimbursement to the state for Heineman’s use of personnel and other public resources.

Heineman could not be reached Friday for comment. He had told the commission his intention was simply to inform residents that he would seek the office of university president, not to violate Nebraska law.

Heineman left the governor’s office in January, when Pete Ricketts was sworn in as the new governor. Heineman wasn’t selected as a finalist for the NU presidency, and the job ultimately went to Hank Bounds, former commissioner of higher education for Mississippi Public Universities.

“Hopefully, the Ricketts administration will end the trend of state Republican officeholders who think they don’t have to follow the law,” Nebraska Democratic Party Chairman Vince Powers said Friday in a written statement.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide