The Sarpy County Board of Commissioners today voted unanimously to begin legal action against Sarpy County Treasurer Brian Zuger.
The move follows the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts’ attestation of the Treasurer’s Office, which found untimely and miscalculated distributions to school districts and other entities, deficiencies in balancing and reconciliation procedures and other issues. The attestation did not find any missing funds.
“As Commissioners, our priority is to protect Sarpy County taxpayers, so we take the State Auditor’s findings very seriously,” Sarpy County Board Chairman Don Kelly said. “The attestation identifies millions of dollars of funds incorrectly distributed to the schools, the cities and the county, which is why we’re exploring all of our options moving forward.”
Nebraska State Statute § 23-103 and § 23-1603 give the Board the authority to remove the Treasurer.
In November, the Auditor’s Office 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 Sarpy County Treasurer’s Office is an independent office lead by Zuger, who was elected in November 2018. Though the County Board approves the Treasurer’s Office budget, Commissioners have no direct oversight over the Treasurer, the office or its activities.
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. This audit focused on the Fiscal & Budget Office’s financial statements, whereas the State Auditor’s attestation analyzed the Treasurer’s compliance with his statutory obligations.