Nebraska AG: No charges over ex-state senator’s photos

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s attorney general said he will not file criminal charges against fellow Republican and former state lawmaker Mike Groene over photos the ex-lawmaker surreptitiously took of an aide.

There is not enough information from the results of a Nebraska State Patrol investigation to warrant criminal charges against Groene, a spokeswoman for Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said Thursday.

Groene, of North Platte, resigned from office earlier this year after acknowledging that he photographed his legislative aide in his office without her knowledge. The former staffer, Kristina Konecko, said in a complaint to the Legislature’s Executive Board that she discovered the photos on Groene’s laptop, which he had given her to update. She said some of the photos included close-ups of body parts.

Groene, a blunt-spoken, often abrasive Republican who clashed with Democratic colleagues, also ended his candidacy to become a University of Nebraska Regent after the scandal came to light.

Groene said he had been vindicated by the attorney general’s decision and that he regretted resigning from the Legislature, saying he did so only because he got bad advice to do so from Gov. Pete Ricketts, Speaker of the Legislature Mike Hilgers and Executive Board Chairman and state Sen. Dan Hughes — all Republicans.

“I’ve been politically assassinated, cut off at the knees,” Groene told the Omaha World-Herald on Thursday.

In April, an investigator hired by the Legislature found that Groene acted in a “boorish, brainless and bizarre” manner but did not commit illegal sexual discrimination or harassment.

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