Nebraska Lt. Gov. Sheehy Resigns Over Improper Phone Calls

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy has resigned, effective immediately. Gov. Dave Heinman announced Sheehy's resignation in a hastily called news conference in Lincoln Saturday morning.

Heineman said the resignation followed disclosures made in a public records request, but declined to discuss what those disclosures were. An investigation by the Omaha World-Herald found that Sheehy, a Republican, made about 2,000 late-night calls on a state-issued cellphone to four women other than his wife.

Gov. Heineman told reporters that Sheehy had broken his trust, but again declined to elaborate. The 53-year-old Sheehy, a former Hastings mayor, has been considered the leading candidate to succeed Heineman in 2015. Sheehy's wife, Connie, filed for a divorce last July after nearly 29 years of marriage. The divorce filing stated that the marriage was "irretrievably broken."

A Bellevue emergency room doctor says she had a long-term relationship with Sheehy. Theresa Hatcher told The Associated Press Saturday that she and Sheehy met during a meeting of emergency responders in 2008. Sheehy led the state's emergency management efforts. Hatcher thought she "was the only one."

Heineman said he would no longer support the lieutenant governor if he continued his campaign. Sheehy did not appear at the news conference and his state cellphone has been disconnected. A Heineman spokeswoman said the governor's office is investigating whether Sheehy will need to reimburse the state for the phone calls.

Gov. Heineman plans to begin a search starting Monday to replace Sheehy. The governor said he will appoint a new lieutenant governor in the coming weeks.

If something where to happen to Heineman before he picks a new lieutenant, Speaker of the Legislature Greg Adams would ascend to the governor's post.

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