State Audit Leads To FBI Investigation Of Nebraska Police Chief For Misusing Funds

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     A state audit report has revealed the police chief of the small northeast Nebraska town of Oakland is being investigated by the FBI.

       Oakland Mayor Ted Beckner told the Nebraska Examiner he considers the audit report preliminary, but that “it looks like” Chief Terry Poland misused city funds.

Poland, chief for about 6 years, remains on the job. 

     The state audit shows Poland used nearly $15,000 in city funds to buy gift cards from a sporting goods company, supposedly to buy ammunition for the department, but actually purchased a long list of personal items.

     It also indicates the chief and his 2 officers double-billed hours to both Oakland and nearby Lyons for patrolling the streets for 30 days last year. The audit says Poland double billed 181 hours – about $3,500 – “giving rise to concerns about potential fraud.”

     The Examiner says the state Auditor’s Office had been contacted with concerns about a lack of receipts on the use of the gift cards.

      Chief Poland had told city officials using the gift cards was convenient because it allowed him and the officers to get ammunition whenever they were in Omaha. 

     The audit report says he also said the store wouldn’t allow ammo to be charged to the city’s account, which turned out to be false.

      When the double-billing issue arose later last year, the Auditor’s Office discussed the situation with both the state Attorney General’s Office and the FBI – leading to the decision for a full state audit. 

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