Sarpy County Board will hold hearing to consider removing treasurer

Sarpy County Board will hold hearing to consider removing treasurer

FORECAST, COMING UP IN A FEW MINUTES. ALEXANDRA: THANK YOU. LATE THIS AFTERNOON, THE SARPY COUNTY BOARD VOTES TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE COUNTY TREASURER. BRIAN ZUGER HAS ALREADY REFUSED TO RESIGN OVER A HOST OF ACCOUNTING ISSUES AND SAYS HE’S DISAPPOINTED BY BOARD’S VOTE A REPORT OUT THIS AFTERNOON FROM THE NEBRASKA STATE AUDITOR SPELLS OUT THE CONCERNS. $12.5 MILLION IN PUBLIC FUNDS PUT AT RISK. WHILE NO MONEY IS MISSING, HER ARE SOME OF THE DISCREPANCIES NOTED — FOR INSTANCE, OPPD FUNDS DISTRIBUTED TO LOCAL GOVERNMEN THE COUNTY TREASURER OVERPAID BELLEVUE SCHOOLS BY $2.3 MILLION AND UNDERPAID MILLARD SCHOOLS BY ALMOST $2.4 MILLION. THAT ERROR IS A VIOLATION OF STATE LAW. THE AUDIT NOTES OTHER LAW VIOLATIONS, INCLUDING MISTAKES IN SALES TAX COMMISSIONS AND FORMS THAT WERE NOT FILED PROPERLY THE AUDITOR SAYS IT’S UP TO COUNTY OFFICIALS TO DETERMINE IF THE MISTAKES AMOUNT TO OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT. ROB: KETV NEWSWATCH 7’S SARAH FILI IS LIVE IN PAPILLION WITH THE COUNTY BOARD’S ACTION THIS AFTERNOON. SARAH? SARAH: SARPY COUNTY TREASURER BRIAN ZUGER SAYS HE’S BEEN WORKING TO FIX PROCESSES IN THE OFFICE. IN A STATEMENT THIS AFTERNOO GIVEN TO US, ZUGER SAYS HE AND HIS STAFF HAVE WORKED TIRELESSLY TO REDESIGN PROCESSES IN THE OFFICE. ZUGER SAYS THE ISSUES NOTED THE AUDITOR’S REPORT HAVE BEEN GOING ON LONG BEFORE HE BECA SARPY COUNTY TREASURER AND CORRECTIVE ACTION HAS ALREADY BEEN TAKEN TO ADDRESS THE CONCERNS IN THE AUDI THE COUNTY’S PUBLIC INFORMATI OFFICER SAYS SHE’S NOT AWARE OF ANY MISMANAGEMENT OF FUNDS BEFORE ZUGER WAS ELECTED TO THE OFFICE IN 2018. SHE SAYS THE DECISION TODA IS ABOUT RESTORING CONFIDENCE THE TAXPAYERS THAT THEIR MONEY IS BEING WILL MANAGED. SH SAYS THE DECISION ALLOWS FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE AUDIT AND ZUGER’S ACTIONS, AND ADD THAT IN THE END, NO LEGAL ACTION COULD BE TAKEN AT ALL. BUT FOR NOW, THERE ARE TWO OPTIONS TO REMOVE ZUGER FROM OFFICE. >> FILE A PETITION WITH DISTRI COURT AND ASK THE COURT TO REMOVE HIM, OR THERE COULD BE A HEARING WHERE THE BOARD WOULD HEAR THE CASE AND THEN VOTE WHETHER OR NOT TO REMOVE HIM. SARA THE COUNTY SAYS THEY DO NOT HAVE A TIMELINE ON WHEN THEY MAY MAKE THE DECISION FOR WHICH LEGAL ACTION OR IF ANY AT ALL THEY WILL TAKE. THEY ALSO DON’T HAVE A TIMELINE FOR HOW THEY WILL REMEDY THE MONEY SITUATION, BUT THEY DO KNOW THE COUNTY’ MONEY SITUATION IS IN GOOD STANDING. ZUGER’ ATTORNEY SAYS THEY WILL FIGHT ANY LEGAL ACTIO

Sarpy County Board will hold hearing to consider removing treasurer

An administrative hearing to decide whether to remove Sarpy County Treasurer Brian Zuger from office has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 13. The Sarpy County Board of Commissioners this week voted unanimously to begin legal action against Zuger. At the beginning of November, the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts announced there had been concerns that Zuger had failed to balance the financial activities of his office.The audit revealed substantial issues, with the problems being summarized: “The results of this successive examination identified numerous issues that impacted over $12.5 million in public funds.”Among the issues included in the report:Sarpy County paid an accounting firm $142,726 to try and balance the accounts.That accounting firm failed to identify “significant” errors and provided services before an agreement was signed.Treasurer failed to properly calculate tax distribution from OPPD to school districts, resulting in Bellevue being overpaid $2.3 million and Millard being underpaid $2.4 million.Funds supposed to be distributed monthly to schools, but they were paid only once per yearAs of Dec. 31, 2020, 12 funds were overdrawn, one as high as $214,211.The auditor recommends the county attorney and the county board determine whether the items addressed in the report rise to the level of “official misconduct.”

An administrative hearing to decide whether to remove Sarpy County Treasurer Brian Zuger from office has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 13.

The Sarpy County Board of Commissioners this week voted unanimously to begin legal action against Zuger.

At the beginning of November, the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts announced there had been concerns that Zuger had failed to balance the financial activities of his office.

The audit revealed substantial issues, with the problems being summarized: “The results of this successive examination identified numerous issues that impacted over $12.5 million in public funds.”

Among the issues included in the report:

  • Sarpy County paid an accounting firm $142,726 to try and balance the accounts.
  • That accounting firm failed to identify “significant” errors and provided services before an agreement was signed.
  • Treasurer failed to properly calculate tax distribution from OPPD to school districts, resulting in Bellevue being overpaid $2.3 million and Millard being underpaid $2.4 million.
  • Funds supposed to be distributed monthly to schools, but they were paid only once per year
  • As of Dec. 31, 2020, 12 funds were overdrawn, one as high as $214,211.

The auditor recommends the county attorney and the county board determine whether the items addressed in the report rise to the level of “official misconduct.”

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