What disciplinary action the legislature might take against Sen. Bill Kintner of Papillion in his cybersex case could gain some clarity in a couple of weeks.
The Executive Board of the Unicameral will meet on the 19th to discuss the case.
Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha serves as the chair of the board and holds out hope the case could be resolved without legislative action.
“There’s always the question of trying to appeal to his sensibility and getting Sen. Kintner to resign,” Krist tells LNK Today on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “We’re still all working on that possibility and I think that’s what we all feel is best for the state and for him and for his family.”
Krist says he has heard that a select group of people close to Kintner have been talking with the senator in an effort to get him to resign from the Unicameral.
Kintner has confessed to using his official, state-owned laptop computer to engage in cybersex with an unknown female while he was on a business trip to Boston. The conduct came to light when Kintner informed the Nebraska State Patrol that the woman had tried to blackmail him, asking for $4,500 to keep quiet about the internet session and not tell his wife or go public.
Krist knew of the investigation and, as chairman of the board, decided to keep it quiet.
“When this first came to light a year ago, I made a decision that we would let due process happen,” Krist says. “My personal beliefs would have been contrary to that.”
Krist says it was important for the case to be investigated and decided by the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission, which fined Kintner one thousand dollars for misuse of his official computer.
The executive board could recommend a range of action for the Unicameral to take, from censure to impeachment.
Krist says the legislature needs to act.
“If you’re asking for a personal opinion, I would tell you that something needs to be done to send a signal to the citizens of Nebraska that we’re very serious about people who misuse government equipment, state equipment, use it for the wrong reason. That is the charge,” Krist says.
Ultimately, Kintner could survive and remain in the legislature. Krist says, even if Kintner stays, he believes the Unicameral can carry on.
“I would not empower him at this point to say that he will be disruptive in the session and that’s not just my opinion. I think I get that read from the more sensible folks who are serving in your legislature.”