Bob Bennie claims to be target of Dept. of Banking

By: Ian Hest

A Lincoln financial advisor claims the Department of Banking is targeting him. Now he wants the Attorney General to get involved.

Jon Bruning hasn't decided yet if he'll file criminal charges from an investigation in July of last year, but financial advisor Bob Bennie thinks it's not for a lack of evidence, but rather a conflict of interest.

An ad from back in December of 2009, run by financial advisor Bob Bennie, offered $100 towards the purchase of a gun if someone opened a new account with him. Months later Bennie, a leader in Nebraska's Tea Party, made headlines again when he called President Obama a “communist.”

It's these actions, Bennie says, that have unfairly made him the target of the Nebraska Department of Banking.

“All of what the state banking did is a witch hunt trying to get on Bob Bennie because they didn't like my political positions,” said Bennie.

Bennie cites these internal department of banking e-mails that talk of “hanging Bennie high” and the “potential political ramifications” of restricting Bennie's company.

So Bennie wants criminal charges brought to those involved, but Attorney General, Jon Bruning, hasn't budged. Bennie says Bruning does business in the banking sector and has a conflict of interest.

“I don't know if this has anything to do with his connections to the banking industry. I don't know if this has anything to do with him running for higher office. But even if he is running for another office he still needs to do the job of the office he's at,” said Bennie.

The Department of Banking declined to comment due to an ongoing civil suit between them and Bennie. Bennie said the Department of Banking has already spent $250,000 in lawyer fees. A number the Banking Department denies, they say it's closer to $45,000.

We placed multiple phone calls to Jon Bruning's office on Thursday. None were returned, so no word on if he'll pursue those charges.