Lincoln County Treasurer removed from office

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - A series of unnamed events led the Lincoln County Commissioners to remove the current County Treasurer from office. Law enforcement escorted Lorie Koertner from the Lincoln County Courthouse on Monday afternoon, around 2 p.m.

At a press conference Monday afternoon, Chairman Joe Hewgley, said "I'm not prejudging or suggesting there is wrong-doing, but the county board is trying to be proactive."

Hewgley says, "We met at length with board counsel and the county attorney, and think its in the best interest of Lincoln County to remove Koertner."

Officials would not give examples or reasons behind the decision. In a press release, officials cited Nebraska Revised Statute section 23-1603. The law cites the removal of elected officials "for neglecting or refusing to render any account or settlement required by law, and failing or neglecting to account for any balance due the state, county, township, school district or any other municipal subdivision or is guilty of any other misconduct in office."

Officials would not comment if criminal charges will be filed.

Commissioners appointed Sue Fleck, as of May 13th, to perform the duties of the county treasurer. She will serve until a successor is elected or appointed. Fleck is the former County Treasurer and choose not to run for re-election in 2018.

Officials also say a State Auditor from Lincoln will be in the County Treasurer's office to audit the books and help with an investigation in the next few days.

Hewgley says if there is a problem, hopefully it will be corrected.

Koertner was sworn into office on January 3, 2019.

When Koertner submitted answers to our KNOP-TV News 2 election profile last fall, she said she had experience in another Nebraska County as a County Treasurer. She listed:
5 years Webster County Treasurer
7 years Webster County Deputy Treasurer
7 years Webster County Clerk
5 years Lincoln County Assessor Clerk

Koertner's Deputy Treasurer, Jennifer Hergenrader was also removed from her position. Officials say Hergenrader had only been in her position for a few weeks. She also had experience working in another office in the courthouse.