NEBRASKA CITY – Jennifer Panko-Rahe of the Mattson Ricketts Law Firm in Syracuse took the oath of office Friday as the new top prosecutor for Otoe County.
She has most recently worked in private practice and criminal defense, but said she expects to work with law enforcement agencies as a team to improve public safety and clean up crime.
Panko-Rahe: “I’ve had a good relationship with law enforcement during the time I’ve been a defense attorney and I have great respect for all of the law enforcement officers that we have in the area. I think we have a good, working relationship together and we can continue moving that forward.”
Panko-Rahe said success for her office will be shared.
Panko-Rahe: “I’ll know if I’ve been successful if law enforcement feels like we’ve been successful and if the commissioners feel like I have been answering questions for them.”
County commissioners selected Panko-Rahe Tuesday from a field of candidates that included Deputy Nemaha County Attorney Angelo Ligouri and former county prosecutor Tim Noerrlinger.
Panko-Rahe: “I think the public expects for me to be tough on crime. I think the public is going to expect our office to continue to move forward and have open communication, as much as we can, with all of the law enforcement in the area, as well as take care of all of the other needs of the county.”
David Partsch, the former county attorney, has recently been appointed a county judge.
Panko-Rahe was an assistant Polk County attorney in Iowa from 1999 to 2000 and was assistant Pottawattamie County attorney until 2002.
She earned a bachelor of arts from Doane College and earned a law degree at the University of Iowa in 1998.