The police chief of Sutton, Neb., has been fined $750 for buying too much snack food and using the city's Police Department to store campaign signs.
The Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission has settled with Police Chief Tracey Landenberger and fined him on two of six allegations.
The maximum penalty for each violation is $2,000, said the commission's executive director, Frank Daley.
“I've got no problem with what they discovered,” Landenberger said. “This is my fault.”
The commission said the violations started in January 2010 and continued until June 2012.
Many of the snacks were consumed during training exercises by police officers working late hours, and some was candy thrown to a crowd during a local parade, according to Nebraska State Auditor Mike Foley's 2012 audit of the Sutton Police Department.
Landenberger said the signs were left inside the Police Department garage along with some other personal property as he moved to a new home.
“A lot of the things we were doing wrong were going on long before I was here,” Landenberger said. “But now we've fixed things.”
Sutton is a Clay County town of around 1,500 people about 30 miles east of Hastings.
The commission wanted to reach the settlement quickly with Landenberger.
“The idea was just to essentially resolve this thing without going on and on and on,” Daley said. “It seemed like a just way to solve the matter.”
Foley disagrees. He said that Landenberger should face higher penalties and that even the maximum might not have been a steep enough fine.
“In my mind this is only a slap of the wrist in light of the infraction,” Foley said.
Special prosecutor Tim Schmidt, the Nuckolls County attorney, said he is still reviewing the case to determine whether Landenberger will face criminal charges.