Ernie Chambers files complaint over Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh's DUI conviction - Omaha.com
Published Friday, July 12, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 11:39 am
Ernie Chambers files complaint over Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh's DUI conviction

LINCOLN — State Sen. Ernie Chambers filed a complaint with the Nebraska Supreme Court on Thursday against attorney and fellow Omaha lawmaker, Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh.

The complaint addresses Lautenbaugh's Feb. 27 arrest and subsequent conviction for aggravated drunken driving.

Chambers said the complaint had nothing to do with the fact that he and Lautenbaugh often take opposing positions during legislative debates.

Rather, he argued that public officials, especially those who are attorneys, must be held to higher standards because they occupy a position of public trust.

“When that trust is violated, consequences flow,” he said.

Lautenbaugh, however, said he does not expect that his drunken-driving conviction will be an issue.

He said he self-reported his arrest to the high court's Counsel for Discipline and was led to believe it would not be the basis for disciplinary action.

Chambers said that, when he notified Lautenbaugh about his plans to file the complaint, Lautenbaugh did not mention anything about having self-reported. Lautenbaugh said he could not remember when he made the report.

Lautenbaugh, 48, was stopped by a Douglas County sheriff's deputy near 147th Street and West Maple Road for driving erratically.

At the time of his arrest, he was ticketed on suspicion of first-offense drunken driving. But the city prosecutor amended the charge to aggravated first-offense DUI because Lautenbaugh's blood-alcohol level was .234, almost three times the legal driving limit of .08.

He pleaded guilty to the charge last month and was sentenced to two days of house arrest, one year of probation and a $500 fine. He also must use an ignition interlock device on his car for one year. The device prevents a car from starting if the driver has been drinking.

Chambers pointed out that Lautenbaugh has introduced and voted for bills that create harsher penalties for criminal offenses. Chambers also noted that he has filed previous grievances against other public officials who are attorneys.

In 1993, a Chambers complaint led to the Supreme Court's publicly reprimanding former Douglas County District Judge Lawrence Corrigan, based on his arrest and conviction for driving while intoxicated.

Contact the writer: Martha Stoddard

martha.stoddard@owh.com    |   402-473-9583    |  

Martha covers the Nebraska Legislature, the governor, state agencies, and health, education and budget issues out of our Lincoln bureau.

Contact the writer: Joe Duggan

joe.duggan@owh.com    |  

Joe works in the Lincoln bureau, where he helps cover state government, the Legislature, state Supreme Court and southeast Nebraska.

Rain expected to end by midmorning
3 Nebraska Board of Education candidates call for high standards
Agreement reached to end dog racing at Bluffs Run at end of 2015
Douglas County Board candidates say they aren't ruled by party
96th Street to have head-to-head traffic
At NU's helm, J.B. Milliken built the university by building relationships with state leaders
Video: Stothert says Crossroads project is 'full speed ahead,' but she won't support bond issue
Ex-Obama official urges approval of Keystone XL pipeline
Benefit to be held for family of Omaha shooting victim
Omaha Personnel Board to weigh a ‘ban-the-box’ proposal for city job applications
New Alegent Creighton Clinic to open in Council Bluffs
Grace: Your older self has a request — use sunscreen
Kelly: Huskers' glory days of '80s live on — on the small screen and on stage
Beau McCoy calls Pete Ricketts a 'convenient conservative' for immigration stance
Police ID body found near 36th, Seward Streets
World champion Crawford's promoter working to have title defense at CenturyLink Center
Hail, strong winds, heavy rain hit south-central Nebraska
'Fairly old' human skull found in Mills County
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Omaha crash victim, 19, had touched many lives
Firefighters take on 'fully engulfed barn fire'
Council Bluffs school board approves new district headquarters
Officials announce effort to lure more veterans to Nebraska
SB 132nd Street lane closed
Shane Osborn grabs several endorsements
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Kelly: Huskers' glory days of '80s live on — on the small screen and on stage
The 1984 NFL draft was unusual for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and these days it's remembered in the name of a rock band, the 1984 Draft. Tonight, the band will be featured nationally on the NFL Network in a documentary about — what else? — the 1984 draft.
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Nebraska GOP candidates unified against naked squirrels
Some of these Nebraska campaigns are tilting pretty far right. At a recent forum, there was a consensus that we need to ban public dancing and clothe naked squirrels in public parks.
Breaking Brad: Inside the mind of a 99-year-old real estate agent
I saw an article about a 99-year-old real estate agent who's still working. “This house is extra special. It has indoor toilets!”
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
7M Grill
Half Off Delicious Comfort Fusion Food & Drinks!
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »