The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 18, 1997, Image 1

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Matt Miller/DN
SENIOR MATH MAJOR Tina Sposato, left, and freshman architecture major Bruce McCley study on the first floor in Architecture Hall
Monday morning.
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By Erin Gibson
Senior Reporter
A former University of
Nebraska employee is suspected of
embezzling about $60,000 from
the West Central Extension Grater
in North Platte during the past
year, officials said Monday.
Most of the amount stolen was
private grant money intended to
support research at the university’s
center, officials said.
Charges against the unnamed
suspect, who had worked at the
center for three years, have yet to
,• be filed pending a criminal investi
* gation.
Alan Moeller, assistant vice
chancellor for the Institute for
Agriculture and Natural Resources
that oversees the centers, said a for
mer accounting clerk at the center
is suspected of embezzling the
money by wrongly depositing uni-,
versity hinds into a non-university
employee account and later with
drawing the funds in cash.
Gary Hergert, interim director
of the center, said one of 20 faculty
members at the center discovered
the embezzlement a few days after
the cleric quit her job with the uni
The faculty member had
requested a report on several
accounts at the center, he said. The
reports were regularly issued, but
had been delayed because of sever
al administrative changes at the
When the faculty member got
the report, she found a deficit in
the employee sundry account,
Hergert said. The account usually
held money donated by center
employees to buy coffee, candy,
flowers and other employee perks.
The day after the clerk left,
center accountants started check
ing past activity on the account.
They found that one of the funds
had an unusual amount of activity,
he said.
"This was a fund that, usually
... $200 worth of business would
have been a big year,” Hergert said.
“We knew something strange was
going on.”
Further internal investigations
found the clerk had deposited
important university checks into
the sundry account by stamping
the checks with the sundry fund
stamp. >
The procedures we had inplace were
fairly adequate andgenerallgwould have
stop that kind of thiftg.”
Gary Hergert J|:.
interim director of West Central Extension Center
Then, the employee would
forge the signature of employees
authorized to write checks from
the account and withdraw cash
from the account
“Most 10-year-olds looking at
(the checks) could tell they were
forgeries,” Hergert said.
The embezzlement may have
started slowly as early as
December, he said, but it began in
earnest six months ago.
On Oct. 21, Hergert said he
contacted Moeller to report the
evidence of embezzlement.
“(I was) shocked,” Moeller
said. “Very concerned.”
Moeller immediately called the
university police and met with uni
versity auditors that day.
An auditor from the NU
Operations Analysis Office in
Lincoln went to North Platte Oct.
24 for further investigation.
University Police Chief Ken
Cauble went to North Platte on
Nov. 4 to begin the criminal inves
tigation with the office of Lincoln
County Attorney Kent Turnbull.
Some of the center’s loss could
be covered by the university’s
insurance, which carries a $10,000
Since discovering the embez
zlement, Moeller said he and Linda
Enck, NU director of operations
analysis, have, met with the district
directors of all university exten
Johanns asks
for one more
cleanup push
By Ted Taylor
Senior Reporter
Find the Ben-Gay - again.
Stretch out those arms and legs - again.
Grab the work gloves and the children, and
get ready for one more weekend of dragging tree
limbs to the curbs and hauling them to a drop-off
Mayor Mike Johanns announced Monday
that the first stage of the city’s October snow
storm cleanup was a “tad” ahead of schedule,
and he proposed one final weekend of residents
lending a hand to help finish off the debris
“We’re asking the city of Lincoln to lend a
hand again,” Johanns said in a news conference.
The mayor declared Saturday and Sunday a
citywide cleanup weekend hoping to put an end
to phase one of the cleanup.
He urged residents to “look toward their
trucks and strong
ing those who need assistance should call the
Salvation Army at (402) 474-6263.
He also asked businesses and Civic groups to
get together to help clean Sunken Gardens, city
parks and hiker and biker trails that weren’t a top
Please see CLEANUP on 3
Stores ‘Target’
U.S. monument
restorations t
■-___ ;,*ge
By Brad Davis |
Assignment Reporter
—-- • ^
tf-p. Two University of Nebraska-Lincoln gradu
ates are helping to restore the Washington 0%
Monument in Washington D.C.
One of the men helping with the restoration, v
Bob Thacker, came to his alma mater Monday ^
ta speak to a journalism class .
Advertising Professor Stacey James said
Thacker, vice president of marketing for Target
Stores, didn’t portray the stereotypical advertis
Thacker said his company, Target Stores,
strives to make an impact in the communities
where its stores are, and in the entire United
States, by pledging 5 percent of its pre-tax prof
its to charities across the nation.
Recently, Target has forged “cause market
ing” alliances with companies like Kodak, to
raise the money necessary to repair the
Washington Monument, Thacker said.
These alliances allow Target customers to
buy designated products, and a portion of both
Target’s and the designated company’s proceeds
from the product benefit the restoration.
Target has generated $5 million for the
restoration of the Washington Monument
through the cause marketing program.
Please see MONUMENT on 6
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