Judge rules hearing was enough to remove Sarpy County treasurer
OMAHA — The Sarpy County Board did not violate former Sarpy County Treasurer Brian Zuger’s due process rights when it removed him from office after a hearing that considered the quality of his work, a judge has ruled.
Sarpy County District Judge Geoffrey Hall on Tuesday dismissed Zuger’s attempt to overturn his 2021 removal from office. Hall dismissed the case with prejudice — meaning Zuger cannot refile the case — saying the county gave him “a fair and impartial hearing.”
The judge wrote that evidence from the county’s hearing supported Zuger’s removal. Hall said Zuger acknowledged his own failures “to carry out and comply with the duties of his office.”
The county removed Zuger after the State Auditor’s Office questioned how Zuger had handled the county’s books. The auditor’s concerns included miscalculating tax dollars provided to school districts in the county.
Other issues the state identified include delays in distributing public funds and problems in how the County Treasurer’s Office balanced and reconciled funds. The auditor found no funds missing.
County leaders found those concerns persuasive, citing state statute that allows them to remove a county treasurer if the treasurer neglects to carry out the office’s legally required duties.
Sarpy has replaced Zuger with a new treasurer, Trace Jones. In a news release Wednesday, Sarpy County Board Chairman Don Kelly said Jones, who was initially hired on an interim basis, has improved the direction of the office.
“Under Trace’s leadership,” Kelly said, “the Treasurer’s Office is focused on ensuring all payments due to other entities are distributed as prescribed in Nebraska State Statute.”
Zuger’s lawyer, Robert Schaefer, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. He told WOWT his client was still evaluating the decision and deciding whether to appeal.