- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) - The Dodge County Board of Supervisors has appointed a new county assessor because the previous one resigned and now faces theft charges.

The board appointed Debbie Churchill as the new assessor Wednesday, the Fremont Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1jbOgYI ). Churchill plans to start Tuesday.

“I can’t wait to get it running like it should be and get it out of the news,” Churchill said of the assessor’s office.

She previously served as county assessor from 2004 until 2011, when the office was operated through the state.

Churchill’s appointment came a day after former assessor Brittny King made her first court appearance on charges that she stole from the county. King resigned last month during a contentious meeting where county board members accused her of mismanaging the office she had led since 2012.



Board members said King’s office had missed several filing deadlines and that she was often out of the office. Soon after her resignation on Sept. 2, she was arrested on suspicion of theft.

King, 26, faces two misdemeanor charges of theft and two misdemeanor counts of unauthorized use of a financial transaction device. Court records say King is accused of using a county-issued credit card on two occasions to purchase fuel for her personal vehicle.

A local attorney, Adam Tripp, was appointed to represent her. Tripp was unavailable for comment Thursday, though his receptionist said he has not yet had a chance to meet with King and does not know how she will plead to the charges.

If convicted, King faces up to six months in jail. Her next court appearance is set for Oct. 20.

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This story has been corrected to show King’s initial court appearance was Tuesday, not Wednesday.

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Information from: Fremont Tribune, https://www.fremontneb.com

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