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Longtime county clerk arrested, accused of charging $18,600 to county credit card

Cash money
Posted at 3:35 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 16:35:25-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (Nebraska Examiner) — A rural Nebraska county clerk has been arrested for allegedly using an official Deuel County credit card to buy more than $18,000 in personal items.

The purchases ranged from cat food to clothing over the past three years.

Deuel County Clerk Polly Olson, 59, was arrested Tuesday after an investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol. The probe was sparked by information from the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.

An arrest affidavit indicated that an investigation began in December and found purchases using the county credit card from Claire’s, Hobby Lobby, Amazon and Off-Broadway Shoes, as well as purchases of groceries, toys and cat food.

In May 2021, Olson wrote a check for almost $2,500 to reimburse the county for using the county’s credit card for personal items. But an accounting by a State Patrol investigator and an assistant Nebraska attorney general found about $18,599 in unreimbursed purchases.

An arrest warrant was issued for Olson on Tuesday. She has been lodged in the Garden County Jail for theft by unlawful taking, according to a State Patrol spokesman. 

Olson was up for re-election this year. Exact records were not immediately available, but Deuel County Attorney Jonathon Stellar said Olson had served as county clerk for perhaps 20 to 30 years.

Deuel County is along Interstate 80 in Nebraska’s Panhandle, west of Ogallala.

Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nebraska Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Cate Folsom for questions: Follow Nebraska Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

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