Exec Board will ask Kintner to testify on cybersex

The Legislature's Exec Board discussed Sen. Bill Kintner on Friday (Photo by Fred Knapp, NET News)
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August 19, 2016 - 4:33pm

Nebraska State Senator Bill Kintner will be asked to testify about using his state computer for cybersex at an August 29th hearing that could recommend his censure, impeachment or expulsion from the Legislature.


The Legislature’s Executive Board – its internal governing body -- discussed Kintner’s status for nearly two hours Friday. Kintner has admitted using his state computer for a sexual encounter via Skype in July, 2015, and been fined a thousand dollars. But he has refused requests to resign from Gov. Pete Ricketts, Speaker of the Legislature Galen Hadley, and Executive Board Chairman Bob Krist, among others. At Friday’s executive board hearing, petitions were presented signed by 800 Cass County residents, and another by more people across the state.

For our previous story on the fine levied against Sen. Kintner and his reaction, click here.

For our previous story about questions raised about and by Sen. Kintner, click here.

For a story about Sen. Kintner comparing his colleagues to monkeys, and reaction, click here.

For a 2014 video conversation with Sen. Kintner about the family, taxes, and the role of government, click here.

Hadley said the Legislature has to act soon. "I think we need to reach some cloture (sic) on this issue, whether it be Sen. Kintner continues in the body, or doesn’t continue in the body. But it’s ours – it is not next year’s Legislature – to do it," Hadley said.

Hadley said he would support calling the Legislature, which isn’t scheduled to meet until January, into special session. Krist listed options ranging from taking away Kintner’s computer to censure, impeachment, or expulsion.

Sen. Ernie Chambers said anything short of impeachment or expulsion was unacceptable to him. Chambers threatened to tie up the session in January if Kintner remains in office.

Sen. Dan Hughes said he has urged Kintner to resign. But Hughes said the issue is not that significant to his western Nebraska constituents. "To me, this is a tempest in a teapot. It’s a very big deal if you’re in Lincoln, if you’re in Omaha, if you’re in the Legislature. But quite frankly, in western Nebraska, they don’t care," Hughes said.

Although it would take a vote of the full Legislature to impeach or expel, Sen. John Murante warned a quick recommendation by the Executive Board to do either would set a dangerous precedent about overturning the results of an election. "If we are going to tear down any notion of due process; if we are going to tear down the institution of this Legislature to get at Bill Kintner, then we had better be willing and able to stand upright with the winds that will blow because of it," Murante said.

But Krist said the Kintner issue needs to be resolved so the Legislature can move on to more important subjects. "There’s state business that needs to be done. And if we’re looking at a $500 million deficit based upon tax receipts potentially in the next couple of months, we don’t need to spend our time talking about Kintner. We need to spend our time talking about dollars and cents," Krist said.

Kintner was not at the meeting, and had no immediate reaction to the discussion. Late Friday afternoon, he released a statement saying a special session would waste at least $75,000 of taxpayers’ money.

"Taking any action against me is not a time-sensitive decision that warrants the Legislature convening in a special session – any action that my colleagues believe is necessary can be handled immediately at the start of the next legislative session," Kintner wrote, adding "I look forward to the opportunity to address my colleagues regarding the issue."

 

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