- Associated Press - Sunday, October 30, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - As Nebraska lawmakers prepare for meetings this week and later in the month, members still haven’t decided whether to further punish a senator who acknowledged having cybersex on a state computer.

Sen. Bill Kintner already has been fined $1,000 for misuse of state property after admitting to having online sex with a woman who later tried to blackmail him. Some lawmakers also have urged Kintner to resign, but so far senators haven’t taken additional action to impeach, expel or censure him.

The Legislature’s Executive Board will meet Thursday, and members of the panel likely will discuss possible actions against Kintner, said Sen. Bob Krist, the board’s chairman.

One option is to recommend that lawmakers discipline Kintner at a Nov. 17-18 meeting of the Legislative Council, which will bring together all 49 senators to discuss issues related to next year’s session and meet newly elected members.

The Executive Board could also recommend that lawmakers wait to act until the regular session begins in January, after new senators are sworn into office.

Krist said he doesn’t know which option committee members prefer but suspects many senators “are not looking forward to this tying up the session for an inordinate amount of time.” Nor do they want a special session, he said.

Even though lawmakers haven’t formally acted against Kintner, Krist said he doesn’t believe the Papillion senator will survive the scandal without facing additional consequences.

“Something’s going to happen,” he said.

Speaker of the Legislature Galen Hadley, who leaves office in January due to term limits, said he believes lawmakers will ultimately censure Kintner, but he didn’t know when they would do so.

Censuring Kintner would allow him to remain in office, whereas impeachment and expulsion would remove him. If a simple majority of senators vote to impeach him and the Nebraska Supreme Court found him guilty, Kintner would be barred from holding any public office in the state. If a two-thirds majority of senators vote for expulsion, Kintner would be ousted from the Legislature but could seek re-election or run for another office.

“It would surprise me if he was expelled or impeached,” said Hadley, who has urged Kintner to resign.

Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, an Executive Board member and one of Kintner’s most outspoken critics, said he will keep pushing to remove Kintner from office. Chambers has released more than two dozen drawings and rhymes aimed at Kintner, dubbed “Kintner-grams,” to keep public attention on Kintner’s behavior. Kintner’s refusal to step down undermines the Legislature’s integrity, Chambers said.

“It’s not going to go away,” he said.

Kintner declined to comment on what lawmakers might do and said he was unaware that the Executive Board meeting had been scheduled.

“No one has told me anything,” he said.

Kintner has opted not to attend previous Executive Board meetings, based on his attorney’s advice, but publicly apologized to his wife and God. Later, facing criticism, he extended the apology to his constituents and fellow lawmakers.

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