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Sarpy County public defender reprimanded over alleged conduct

Posted at 6:41 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 23:46:22-04

SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (KMTV) - The Sarpy County Board of Commissioners gave an official reprimand to the county's public defender who is facing allegations of having a sexual relationship with a subordinate.

During their meeting Tuesday, the board laid out all the accusations against Tom Strigenz.

Chairman Don Kelly said an outside investigation found that it was "more likely than not" that Strigenz had engaged in sexual conduct on county property, and that the public defender had been dishonest and refused to cooperate with the investigation, going as far as allegedly threatening and intimidating witnesses.

“One of the most important principals in good government is to keep the taxpayers properly informed and the public has the right to know when there is any potential misconduct by any elected official,” Kelly said.

Since the public defender is an elected official, the board is limited in what disciplinary actions it can take. They say his actions could open the county up to a lawsuit.

Strigenz was asked to resign previously but refused. He was given the opportunity to speak during the meeting up declined.

He did speak with 3 News Now after the meeting, saying that he always encourages Sarpy County employees to report misconduct.

“Bottom line is, this matter is finalized," Strigenz said. "It’s over, and as far as I’m concerned. I’m going back to my office to continue to zealously represent the matters and the clients that have been entrusted to us.”

The county board said they would not provide further comment on the matter.

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