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

Date:

LINCOLN — 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: info@nebraskaexaminer.com. Follow Nebraska Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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