- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers have reversed their decision not to confirm the state’s chief medical officer, despite criticism of his previous interactions with the Legislature.

Senators voted 34-6 on Wednesday to confirm Dr. Joseph Acierno, one day after rejecting him. Acierno was appointed by then-Gov. Dave Heineman in 2013 and appointed again by Gov. Pete Ricketts in December.

Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha filed a motion to reconsider the vote, arguing that senators should give Acierno the benefit of the doubt under a new governor’s administration.

Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha continued to fight the confirmation and accused his colleagues of bowing to pressure from the governor’s office.

Some lawmakers who worked with Acierno say he has been arrogant and blocked reform efforts in the Department of Health and Human Services.


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