Former Nebraska state education official pleads guilty to theft

Nebraska News

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A former state Education Department employee has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $44,000.

Nicole Coffey pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of misdemeanor theft as part of an agreement with prosecutors. She had originally been charged with felony theft.

Prosecutors said she used a state credit card for more than $33,600 in personal purchases while working as state adviser for DECA, a student marketing organization.

A state audit report also said she sought reimbursements totaling $9,250 for purchases made on the card.

Coffey told investigators she had been lax in keeping her personal and professional expenses separate.

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