Following an closed executive session Tuesday morning, each of the five Otoe County commissioners assembled in the election commissioner's office prompting questions regarding open meeting laws.



Tim Nelsen, who was elected earlier in the morning to a third-year as chairman of the board, asked for the executive session regarding pending litigation.



Following adjournment, commissioners met again in another room next to the clerk's office.


Following an closed executive session Tuesday morning, each of the five Otoe County commissioners assembled in the election commissioner's office prompting questions regarding open meeting laws.

Tim Nelsen, who was elected earlier in the morning to a third-year as chairman of the board, asked for the executive session regarding pending litigation.

Following adjournment, commissioners met again in another room next to the clerk's office.

Just prior to 10 a.m., Victoria Watkins of Nebraska City called Otoe County Attorney David Partsch's office to report what appeared to her to be a violation of the state's open meetings law.

County Clerk Janene Bennett's phone rang moments later and Bennett went into the room where the commissioners were assembled.

Commissioner Ron Hauptman then left the building and Commissioner Carol Crook went into another room of the clerk's office.

Commissioner Rick Freshman was next to leave the building.
When asked about the meeting, Commissioner Steven Lade, the board's vice chairman,  told the woman that she should ask the county attorney.

Nelsen told her he does not think it was a violation.

Partsch said the state's open meetings laws need to be followed.
He said it not improper for county commissioners to be in the same room, however, as long as they do not discuss county business.

He said Commissioner Freshman is celebrating a birthday.

Freshman said there was no meeting. “It's my birthday, that's all it was,” he said.