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 hearing will take place before the Sarpy County Board of Commissioners in the Sarpy County Boardroom at the Courthouse, 1210 Golden Gate Drive in Papillion.
The Board this week voted unanimously to begin legal action against the Treasurer. Yesterday, the Board provided the Treasurer with notice of the administrative hearing, along with a petition for his removal. The petition includes factual details about a state audit and attestation that found financial distribution and balancing inaccuracies by the Treasurer’s Office.
The Treasurer has 20 days to respond to the notice and petition. He may also appear at the hearing and present evidence. After all evidence has been presented and the hearing has been concluded, the Board will vote on whether the Treasurer should be removed from office. If he is removed, the Board would then select an appointee to serve the remainder of his term.
Zuger was elected to a four-year term as Sarpy County Treasurer in November 2018. The Treasurer’s Office is an independent office, and County Board has no legal authority to provide direct oversight over the Treasurer, the office or its activities. However, Nebraska Revised Statutes § 23-103 and 23-1603 give the Board the express authority to remove the Treasurer under certain conditions.
In November, the Nebraska Auditor of Public Account’s released an audit of the Treasurer’s Office that cited concerns about inaccurate financial reconciliations and insufficient recordkeeping. In the audit, the Auditor announced plans to conduct the attestation of the Treasurer’s Office’s financial records from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2020.
The Auditor’s attestation, which analyzed the Treasurer’s compliance with his statutory obligations, found untimely and miscalculated tax distributions to school districts and other entities, deficiencies in balancing and reconciliation procedures and numerous other issues. Neither the audit nor the attestation reported any missing funds.
The Treasurer is separate and autonomous from the Sarpy County Fiscal & Budget Office, which is overseen by the Board and is responsible for the county’s yearly budget and financial reporting. An independent audit of the Fiscal & Budget Office’s financial statements for the 2020 fiscal year found that the county remains financially sound.