Harlan Brandt, an Antelope County supervisor originally charged with felony theft, changed his plea this morning in district court.
Brandt, 63, of Oakdale, appeared in court with his attorney Ron Temple of Norfolk. Brandt changed his plea from not guilty to no contest on an amended charge.
On a previous court appearance, Brandt entered a not guilty plea to theft by deception, a class IV felony, due to the items totaling more than $500. Judge Mark Johnson accepted Brandt's no contest plea to theft by deception, a Class I misdemeanor, due to items totaling more than $200.
Madison County Attorney Joe Smith is serving as a special prosecutor in the case. The allegations took place between June 2011 and April 2014. According to Smith, the initial investigation began with the Antelope County Sheriff’s office in December 2013 and then was turned over to the Nebraska State Patrol and the Nebraska Attorney General’s office.
Smith told the judge that the investigation determined that instances occurred through Brandt's supervisory duties. He said fuel was charged to the county at an Oakdale gas station, and attendances confirmed the pickup was Brandt's personal vehicle, not the counties.
Items taken from the county included fencing staples and tire "stop leak" that had been purchased from Bomgaars. Smith said during questioning by law enforcement, Brandt said the staples were for road signs. However, Smith said the road signs are medal and did not use staples.
As for the "stop leak," Smith said a similar brand was put in place of the missing product following the questioning, but it was not a brand that Bomgaars sells.
Following a pre-sentencing investigation, Johnson said Brandt's sentencing will be May 27 at 9 a.m.