A 4,000-page investigative report casts little light on why former Nebraska State Treasurer Lorelee Byrd wrote the undocumented checks that led to her departure from office, reports the Omaha World-Herald.
The State Patrol report suggests that Byrd used the checks to make a $313,000 down payment on two pricey–and allegedly unauthorized–computer scanners she apparently hoped to use to make her office the master agency through which all checks to the state are funneled.
The report was released by Attorney General Jon Bruning on Tuesday, just after Byrd’s resignation as treasurer took effect. Byrd had been under investigation since August for obtaining 12 state checks, or “warrants,” totaling more than $300,000. She held them in her vault for four months before voiding them.
She maintained that she acted under her authority as a constitutional officer, issuing the checks as a contingency plan to pay child-support disbursement bills if a new state accounting system failed.
The investigation by Lt. Mark Funkhouser poked holes in that argument. It also portrayed an office rife with stress, questionable management and a willingness to cut corners.