Ex-Nebraska clerk praised for tornado work gets prison term

STANTON , Neb. (AP) — A former northeastern Nebraska village clerk who was praised for her work in helping rebuild her community following a 2014 tornado strike has been sentenced to prison for stealing from the village.

Kimberly Neiman, 58, was sentenced Monday in Stanton County District Court to three years in prison, the Norfolk Daily News reported. Neiman was arrested last year on multiple felony theft and other counts. In a deal with prosecutors, the former Pilger clerk pleaded guilty in November to one count of attempted theft in exchange for all other counts being dropped.

In addition to her sentence, Neiman was ordered to repay just over $44,000 to Pilger and the Pilger Fire Department.

Neiman was fired by the village board in February 2019, following a state audit that found more than $562,000 in questionable transactions and more than $156,000 in suspicious charges on the village’s credit card.

Prosecutors said several of the payments went to entities at mailing addresses in the U.S. and Canada that the auditor described as “questionable business locations.” They included a vape store, UPS locations, mailrooms and apartment buildings.

Before the theft came to light, the Nebraska chapter of the American Society of Public Administration had named her Outstanding Public Administrator of the Year for her work in helping rebuild Pilger. The village was devastated by a tornado on June 16, 2014, that destroyed or damaged more than half of the Stanton County community and killed a 5-year-old girl.

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