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Council upholds firing of 2 accused of wasting city money

November 14, 2019 GMT

FRIEND, Neb. (AP) — A southeast Nebraska city council has upheld the firings of two employees accused of wasting money by paying too much for supplies.

Station KOLN reports that the Friend City Council voted 4-0 Wednesday to back Mayor Judith Knoke’s decision to dismiss the city utility superintendent, Patrick Gates, and city clerk, Debbie Gilmer.

A state auditor’s report says Friend had been paying hundreds of thousands of dollars more for items that routinely were sold for far less to other Nebraska communities. The city attorney says $1.4 million was wasted

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Gilmer didn’t attend the meeting but Gates read a statement for her. Gates said that he had made the mistake of trusting the vendor. And Gates denied any suggestion that he’d received kickbacks.

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Information from: KOLN-TV, http://www.kolnkgin.com