LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska investigators say a county treasurer accused of selling cars without a dealer’s license and helping customers evade taxes was reimbursed for mileage for driving to and from an auto auction.
Lancaster County Treasurer Andy Stebbing has been charged with falsifying bills of sale, filing fraudulent state income taxes and selling cars without a license. He last appeared in court Sept. 22 but hasn’t entered a plea, the Lincoln Journal Star reported .
Nebraska State Patrol reports show Stebbing was reimbursed at least $70 for mileage costs to and from the Lincoln Auto Auction in Waverly over the past two years. Being paid for mileage not connected to work violates state and county rules.
Stebbing alleged the auction trips were on county business. He also said he would go to the auction to speak with dealers and to solicit ideas for improving the office.
“My best ideas come from the public, my staff, my own two children and the dealers,” he said.
Former County Treasurer Richard Nuernberger said the auction isn’t a place a treasurer needs to drive to as part of the job.
“There is no reason for a county treasurer to go to the auction,” he said.
County employees and elected officials can be reimbursed for mileage for driving their own vehicles in connection with their jobs. But they can’t be reimbursed for miles driven for private or personal reasons, said Doug Cyr, chief deputy county attorney.
The state auditor’s office has asked for Stebbing’s expense reports but declined to comment on an investigation.
Todd Wiltgen, chairman of the Lancaster County Board, has called for Stebbing’s resignation.
“The fact that he has not resigned is disrespectful to the county taxpayers or employees, and the fact that he has talked about running for re-election is insulting,” Wiltgen said.
Stebbing’s next court date is Oct. 30.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com