State lawmakers have come to the defense of the state Ombudsman, criticized by Gov. Dave Heineman for his report on the Nikko Jenkins case.
A number of state lawmakers took to the floor of the legislature to defend state Ombudsman Marshall Lux who wrote a report questioning how the state treated accused killer Nikko Jenkins while in prison. Jenkins is accused of killing four in Omaha within a month of his release.
Gov. Heineman ripped into the report during a news conference in his Capitol office Monday, inferring Lux was soft on crime, caring more about Jenkins than his victims.
That drew a reaction from Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha Tuesday, who addressed colleagues during floor debate.
Lathrop told colleagues the governor’s remarks could not have been more misplaced, more unfair. Lathrop said the Ombudsman’s office has not engaged in politics and merely investigated the treatment of Jenkins while incarcerated. Jenkins could not access mental health treatment while locked into solitary confinement.
“We have people who need mental health care in the prisons and that’s not happening and to say Marshall Lux is soft on crime is stupid,” Lathrop stated.
Another coming to Lux’s defense was Sen. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln.
“I urge the governor to re-think that dangerous rhetoric as he prepares to join us and address us at the State of the Union,” Conrad stated.
The governor comes before the legislature today for his annual State of the State address.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]