- Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A state lawmaker’s concern that he was the target of an internet scam led to an investigation about whether he had a sexually explicit video of himself on his state-owned computer, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.

In a statement, the patrol said it was contacted by Papillion Sen. Bill Kintner in July 2015 over what he believed was a possible scam that occurred while he was in Massachusetts using his state computer. Following the investigation in October, the patrol said it turned over information to the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, which turned the matter over to the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. The commission oversees ethics complaints against public officials.

State law forbids public officials from using their state computers for nonessential personal activity.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a statement late Friday that he became aware of the investigation into Kintner from the state patrol, but was unable to acknowledge it publicly because of the ongoing commission investigation. Ricketts also said he called Kintner last year when he learned of the investigation from the patrol.

“If the allegations are true, Sen. Kintner needs to resign,” Ricketts said in the statement.

Kintner, whose wife is director of Ricketts’ Policy Research Office, told The Associated Press in an email Friday that he had no comment “until there is some finding, if any,” by the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission.

The first reports of the investigation came Friday from state newspapers.

Omaha Sen. Bob Krist said he also informed Ricketts’ office of the possible video after a person contacted another state senator offering to sell an explicit video involving Kintner.

The Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission did not answer calls late Friday or Saturday morning. State law bars commission members and staff from talking about investigations in progress. The commission is set to meet Aug. 5.

Kintner, 55, is a blunt-spoken conservative who has faced criticism before for comments he’s made, including railing against “homosexual bills” in the Legislature and joking that women don’t understand themselves. Kintner was publicly excoriated by Nebraska Speaker of the Legislature Galen Hadley in February for penning a newspaper column that likened other state lawmakers to monkeys.

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