LINCOLN, NE – The Krist for Governor campaign today issued a formal Nebraska Open Records Law Request to the Office of the Governor of Nebraska and the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The request was made after staff at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution impeded the ability of Sen. Krist to hold a news conference Thursday at the Tecumseh facility.
The letter, dated today, requests “all correspondence (email, letters, memoranda) to or from Governor Pete Ricketts, or any member of his staff, from July 9, 2018 to the present regarding the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, State Senator Bob Krist, Nebraska Department of Correctional Services Director Scott Frakes, Nebraska Department of Corrections staff, or news media availability or access at any state correctional facility in Nebraska.”
On Thursday, the acting warden, April Bulling-June, told Sen. Krist that she could not allow media on the grounds for a news conference. Bulling-June, along with two guards accompanying her, then asked Sen. Krist to leave the parking lot. In addition, someone had parked a state-owned SUV on the grass in front of the Tecumseh prison sign.
“What is the Gov. trying to hide? Under state law a state senator is allowed to visit any correctional facility at any time,” Krist said.
Under Nebraska State Law 83-186: “Members of the Legislature...shall be allowed to visit any facility in the Department of Correctional Services at any time.”
“I want to know who directed the corrections staff to kick me and the news media off the property, Krist said.
“This type of my-way-or-the-highway approach to running our prisons has to stop. Pete Ricketts is not managing State Government like a business as he promised. If this were a business, the shareholders would have fired him by now. This lack of transparency is another example of why he has lost all credibility when it comes to fixing our failing prison system,” Krist said.
As a candidate for governor in October 2014, Ricketts said this:
“As an outsider looking in, it seems to me that in the Department of Corrections we had a culture to where people were afraid to talk to their bosses and give them bad news. And so what we have to do is bring about cultural change, not only in the department of Corrections, but throughout state government. And that’s gonna require new leadership.”
I couldn’t agree more,” Krist said.
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