Hergert fights University of Nebraska lawsuit over chicory crop

SCOTTSBLUFF Neb.

An attorney for former University of Nebraska Regent Dave Hergert says Hergert shouldn’t be named as a defendant in a University of Nebraska lawsuit over a chicory crop.

During a hearing Tuesday, Hergert’s attorney said Hergert’s company, US Chicory, should be the only defendant.

However, the university’s attorney said the contract had been made with both Hergert and US Chicory.

The NU Board of Regents alleged in a lawsuit filed in May that Hergert and his company didn’t live up to the contract signed on June 29 last year.

The university promised to grow and deliver chicory that Hergert would buy for $55 a ton. The university said it delivered nearly 1,035 tons last fall but has not been paid.

The university is seeking $56,920.60 plus accruing interest.

Scotts Bluff County Judge Leo Dobrovolny said he would rule in a few days.

Hergert recently gave up his grain warehouse license following months of tumult over his business.

Officials discovered in April that Hergert’s warehouses were missing about 61 percent of the corn supposed to be stored for farmers. His license was then suspended.

The Public Service Commission lifted the suspension as part of an agreement in June so Hergert could settle his remaining accounts.

Hergert squared away his last three accounts, then surrendered his license under the agreement with the commission.

Hergert was impeached by the Legislature and convicted of manipulating campaign finance laws during his 2004 campaign and then lying to cover it up. He was suspended from office after the Legislature’s impeachment vote.

He subsequently was found guilty last year by the state Supreme Court on two of 10 counts: false reporting and obstructing government operations. That led to his permanent removal from the board.

On the Net:

Public Service Commission: http://www.psc.state.ne.us/

Information from: Star-Herald, http://www.starherald.com

– Associated Press



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