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COLUMBUS — The former coordinator of Platte County’s victim's assistance and adult diversion programs currently under investigation for financial irregularities in her office voluntarily surrendered her license to practice law in Kansas after being convicted of criminal charges in 2003.

The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office has appointed Madison County Attorney Joseph Smith as special prosecutor in the case that is being investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol and State Auditor’s Office.

Smith said Thursday morning the attorney general’s office, county attorney’s office and law enforcement moved the case along expeditiously, but he is still awaiting some reports.

Traci (Crumley) Nelsen, 43, abruptly left her positions with Platte County on Aug. 24.

“I anticipate making a decision (on any possible charges) during the next two weeks,” Smith said.

The special prosecutor said the investigation involves a single individual, not the entire office.

Nelsen gave up her law license in 2003 after being convicted of theft and false reporting in Johnson County, Kansas. Both criminal convictions were for misdemeanor offenses.

At the time Nelsen was disbarred by the Kansas Supreme Court in June 2003, she was facing a formal complaint filed against her by the state’s disciplinary administrator’s office.

Nelsen was hired as the victim's assistance coordinator in 2009 by then-Platte County Attorney Sandra Allen and named coordinator of the newly created adult diversion program in April 2014.

Nicolette Dannelly, who has been with the adult diversion program for about eight months, was named the new coordinator. Wilma Arp, who previously worked with the county’s juvenile diversion program and recently retired, was named interim coordinator of the adult program.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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