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Former State Fair financial director appears in court

Former Nebraska State Fair Financial Director Patrick Kopke is charged with felony theft.
Former Nebraska State Fair Financial Director Patrick Kopke is charged with felony theft.(KSNB)
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 3:54 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The former Financial Director for the Nebraska State Fair Patrick Kopke appeared in Hall County Court Wednesday after being charged with three counts of felony theft. The charges are for theft of moveable property of value greater than $5,000. Each charge could lead to 20 years in prison each with potential reparation payments for the stolen goods.

The attorney representing the state asked the judge for a bond to be set. He said Kopke is currently trying to sell his farm land in Howard County and it could sever his ties to Nebraska making him a flight risk. Kopke’s attorney argued he is a life long resident of the area and has family close by which are close ties. He also suggested that Kopke would not pursue a passport. The judge decided to release Kopke on his own recognizance and he must be finger-printed at the Hall County Jail.

Outside the courtroom, Kopke’s attorney stated that he has not been found guilty and they are only charges. He said they are looking forward to defending his rights in court.

He will return to Hall County Court on Oct. 29 for his preliminary hearing. The state has asked for at least an hour to call witnesses and go over testimony.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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