County clerk charged with debiting county credit card for $18,600

LINCOLN, Neb. (Nebraska Examiner) – A rural Nebraska county clerk has been arrested for allegedly using an official Deuel County credit card to purchase more than $18,000 in personal items.

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 investigation was prompted by information from the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.

An affidavit of arrest said 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 nearly $2,500 to reimburse the county for use of the county’s credit card for personal items. But an accounting by a State Patrol investigator and a Nebraska assistant attorney general revealed about $18,599 in unreimbursed purchases.

An arrest warrant was issued for Olson on Tuesday. She was housed in Garden County Jail for robbery by unlawful kidnapping, according to a State Patrol spokesperson.

Olson was re-elected this year. Exact records weren’t immediately available, but Deuel County Attorney Jonathon Stellar said Olson served as county clerk for perhaps 20 to 30 years.

Deuel County lies along Interstate 80 in the Nebraska Panhandle, west of Ogallala.

Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a network of news outlets supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nebraska Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact editor Cate Folsom with questions: [email protected] Follow the Nebraska Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

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