Prosecutor Says Former County Employee Stole “Well in Excess” of $5K from Platte County Programs

COLUMBUS, Neb. – The special prosecutor in the case involving a former Platte County employee says the defendant stole “well in excess” of $5,000 from the county.

43-year-old Traci Nelsen of Monroe, who was head of the adult diversion program in Platte County, is charged with three felonies, that claim she stole money from the program she led.

Special prosecutor in the case, Madison County Attorney Joe Smith, says the charges: theft by unlawful taking-over $5,000, theft by deception-over 5,000 and tampering with evidence ,were based on evidence that she stole money from two county programs.

“All the charges now have to do with the lady’s involvement in Platte County with the adult diversion program and victim witness program,” says Smith.

Court documents say the crimes go back as far as October of 2014, which Smith says was as far back as statue of limitations allowed prosecutors to look.

“We went back as far as we can,” says Smith.

Smith, who was appointed special prosecutor in order for the county to avoid a conflict of interest, said he believes Nelsen took money from the enrollees to the adult diversion program, as well as restitution costs some enrollees paid.

He declined to give an exact amount of money that was stolen but said he will eventually hope to release a general amount.

“At some point I’ll be able to give a ballpark figure,”  says Smith.

Nelsen left her job last month.

No attorney has yet to be listed for Nelsen. She will be in court on October 18th.


Madison County Attorney and Special Prosecutor Joseph Smith pictured in 2015.

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