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Report: State Auditor’s Office Hours Short , Bar Lunches Long

Report: State Auditor’s Office Hours Short , Bar Lunches Long

Nebraska’s state auditor has acknowledged the accuracy of a newspaper report that he sometimes spends more of his Lincoln workday at a sports bar than at his Capitol office.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that its three-month investigation of state auditor Charlie Janssen revealed late-morning arrivals to work, beer drinking at lunches lasting three hours or more, and several afternoon absences from his office.

The 47-year-old Republican issued a statement Friday in which he said he is “not a perfect man.”

“I apologize to the citizens of Nebraska for some of my choices, and effective immediately I am taking steps to make changes in my personal and professional life,” Janssen said.

In the story, he said he sees no problem with the time he spends outside his office, saying his workday is over early because he starts at 5 a.m. at his Fremont home. He also said he conducts business at those lunches.

“I get work done; I’m very productive,” he said Thursday.

When asked about beer at lunch and his time away from his Capitol office, Janssen said, “It’s unfortunate that you’re focusing on that.”

There’s also no specific state rule on employees drinking alcohol over lunch, but individual agencies prohibit employees from being impaired while at work.

The newspaper said it started looking at Janssen’s activities after spotting him leaving the sports bar Brewsky’s in the middle of the workday and noticing that his vehicle often was not parked at his designated spot.

The auditor’s job: rooting out government mismanagement, waste and misconduct. The office audits local and state agencies, reports findings and makes correction suggestions.

Janssen served in the Legislature from 2009 to 2014 and won election as auditor in 2014. He’s seeking re-election, running against Democrat Jane Skinner, a part-time specialist at an Omaha library and a political novice.

The state Democratic chairwoman, Jane Kleeb, said Janssen “should remove his name from the ballot.”

In his Friday statement, Janssen said: “I am asking the citizens to give me a chance to be an even better state auditor moving forward.”

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