BEATRICE – Gage County will close out the account used to pay a massive federal civil rights judgment to six persons wrongfully convicted in a 1980s Beatrice murder and rape case.

The board of supervisors Wednesday formally voted to close the account as of June 30th….the end of the county’s fiscal year. Supervisors Chairman Erich Tiemann says a 50-cent property tax limit, legislatively authorized sales tax, insurance settlement funds and a state infusion of money were all used to pay off the over $30 million, sooner than expected.

"We looked at somewhere between five and eight years, potentially being longer. We ended up somewhere in that halfway mark of actual time....which has been fantastic. The sales tax came off, January 1st. This fund remained open because anything that did come in, it went somewhere. This will just basically close everything out and get us back to business as usual, next year. June 30th, obviously is our fiscal year end. So our new fiscal year, it will just be off the books and won't be there, anymore."

Nebraska State Senator Myron Dorn….a former county board member and chairman, was at the supervisors meeting Wednesday, noting the process that led to the judgment started some 12 to 13 years ago.

"I'm glad we got it paid off as quick as we did. It was a challenge, but we did a lot of things to help speed that up. So glad that the county can now put this behind it."

Dorn gained passage of both the sales tax option and a state share of support early in his first term as a state lawmaker… the process successfully leading override votes of vetoes by then-Governor Pete Ricketts.