Sarpy County Board to consider removing County Treasurer from office

(Sarpy County, NE) -- Sarpy County is considering removing the County Treasurer from office.

Last week, the Sarpy County Board of Commissioners asked Sarpy County Treasurer Brian Zuger to resign from office. The county says the request came from Board Chairman Don Kelly after the Board reviewed a draft report of the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts’ attestation of the Treasurer’s Office. The county says Zuger declined to resign.

The county says the Board will now consider a resolution at Tuesday’s Board meeting to initiate legal proceedings to remove the Treasurer from office. “We are deeply concerned about the State Auditor's findings, and our primary objective is to ensure Sarpy County is a good steward of the taxpayers’ money,” Kelly said.

Nebraska State Statute gives 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 record keeping. In the audit, the Auditor announced plans to conduct an attestation of the Treasurer’s Office’s financial records from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2020. Neither the audit nor the draft of the attestation found any missing funds. However, the attestation did identify disbursement issues. The State Auditor is expected to release the final attestation report, including the Treasurer’s response to the report, this week.

The Treasurer’s Office is an independent office run by Treasurer Brian 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 role of the Sarpy County Treasurer’s Office is to receive money, like property tax payments and vehicle registration fees, and disburse funds to other government entities, such as cities and school districts.

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.

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