Prison scandal: Ashford at odds with fellow Democrats on probe


Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

Calls for an independent probe into the state’s prison-sentencing scandal took a step back today.

As the Nebraska Democrat Party criticizes Gov. Dave Heineman’s (R) decision putting the Nebraska State Patrol at the center of the investigation, a key fellow Democrat—Brad Ashford— tells Nebraska Watchdog he’s OK with the NSP probe.

“I don’t have a problem with the state patrol doing an investigation,” said Ashford, who is not only running for Congress in Omaha but is also chairman of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee which handles prison issues.

The Democratic Party last week demanded a special prosecutor, no state patrol involvement and more:

“The investigation should not be limited to the ‘Corrections Department’ but instead should include both the Governor’s and Attorney General’s office, said Democratic Party Executive Director Dan Marvin. “Each office is intricately involved with this scandal.”

Heineman responded that Nebraskans trust the state patrol.

Ashford has called for a special session to implement more legislative oversight of the Corrections Department.

Heineman says no special session is needed and there is no indication Ashford could get the votes of 33 lawmakers to force one. Still, Ashford keeps pushing.

Nebraska Watchdog: Have you given up on the idea of a special session?

Sen. Brad Ashford: No! I think we ought to have a special session in November because there are going to be issues—I know nobody wants me to say that, I’m the only one—but I think by November there are going to be some reforms, additional reforms that would be appropriate to do.

Ashford has targeted November arguing that holding the session after Election Day would take some of the politics out of the issue.

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Joe can be heard on Omaha’s KFAB radio every Monday at 7:40 a.m. and KHAS-AM in Hastings every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

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