Two top state officials censured
Two top state officials, both Republicans and members of the Public Service Commission, have been censured by their own board.
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Commissioners Christian Mirch and Kevin Stocker have been reprimanded following what we’re told is an” independent investigation into allegations of misconduct.”
According to a statement from PSC Chairman Dan Watermeier, “The Commission will not condone the conduct that led us to today’s decision to censure these two Commissioners. We shouldn’t need a code of conduct to tell us that as elected officials we are accountable for our actions.”
We first met Mirch last fall when he was running for the Legislature looking to unseat Omaha Democrat Machaela Cavanaugh. Mirch was endorsed by Nebraska Right to Life, but his sales pitch to voters came with a little heard twist.
Mirch: My personal views are that we should not have abortion, that abortion is ending a life, human life. When it comes to being a representative through the district any legislation that were to come up, the hypothetical legislation that were to come up, it would have to be what the district wanted.
NCN's Joe Jordan: What would happen if, as you said you're pro-life, what would happen if the district came back, and they said we want you to vote that there be no restrictions on abortions. The constituents came back and told you that they believe abortion should be legal in all cases. Would you then vote for that?
Mirch: If that's what the majority of the district wanted, yes. Because I believe that we need our representatives to actually represent our district and our constituents, not themselves or their personal views.
Cavanaugh said Mirch was trying to have it both ways.
State Sen. Michaela Cavanaugh: He’s trying to answer to the pro-life community how they want him to answer. And when he’s at the doors being asked by the voters, he’s being disingenuous. It’s a very important and personal issue and people should be honest about it.
Today the five-member board voted 3-2 in favor of the censures, but the Commission has yet to disclose details of the misconduct.
Commissioners Watermeier, Tim Schram, and Eric Kamler voted in favor of the censures. Mirch and Stocker voted no.
Mirch was appointed to the PSC by Gov. Jim Pillen in January, following Mirch’s unsuccessful attempt to unseat State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh of Omaha last November. Mirch’s PSC biography notes he is an “attorney and active law enforcement officer.”
Stocker, who lives just outside of Scottsbluff, was elected to the Commission last year. His PSC biography describes Stocker as a “successful Nebraska businessman in both Transportation and Agriculture.”
Stay with NCN for more details on this developing story.