Judge orders Sen. Council to pay fine

Sen. Brenda Council

Posted by: KLKN newsroom

State Sen. Brenda Council pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of filing false campaign finance reports.

Prosecutors say Council misused more than $60,000 in campaign donations at casinos.  A Lancaster County judge fined Council to $250 per charge.

Council has apologized for making an error in judgment, but she plans to continue running for re-election in northeast Omaha. Council says she's getting treatment for a gambling addiction.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning announced the two misdemeanor charges last week.  Bruning says bank records and casino security videos show that Council withdrew a total of $63,052 at casinos on several occasions and then deposited $36,166 in cash back into the campaign fund. Council has agreed to repay the $27,000 shortfall.

Council is running against her predecessor, Ernie Chambers, who was the longest-serving member of the Nebraska Legislature.  During a debate with Chambers Monday night, Council began by apologizing to “friends, family and community”.  “As you all know by now, I have a gambling problem, and like many people who suffer from a gambling problem I did not deal with my problem appropriately. Instead I allowed my gabling problem to allow me to commit a grave error in judgment,” said Council.