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An Antelope County supervisor charged with felony theft by deception made his first appearance in court on Wednesday.
Harlan Brandt, 62 of Oakdale, requested a preliminary hearing during his appearance in Antelope County Court. Judge Donna Taylor set the hearing for July 16 at 1:30 p.m.
Madison County Attorney Joe Smith, who is serving special prosecution, said the hearing should last about 30 minutes. Brandt's attorney, Ron Temple of Norfolk, said the hearing may not be necessary pending a look at the police report.
Brandt is charged with theft by deception, a class IV felony, due to the items totaling more than $500. Taylor informed Brandt of the maximum penalties with the charges, which are a maximum penalty of 5 years in jail, up to a $10,000 fine and payment of restitution.
Bond was set at $5,000, and Brandt was released on personal recognizance, meaning he owes a personal debt to the state and does not have to pay the bond as long as he appears in court. Taylor informed Brandt that not appearing is a separate Class IV felony.
Smith said Brandt is accused of charging gas to the county and the theft of county property. The allegations took place between June 2011 and April 2014. Due to statute of limitations, Smith said he could only charge Brandt with actions allegedly taking place during the last three years.
Brandt is serving his third four-year term as supervisor, representing District 6. When asked how this charge affects Brandt's serving on the Board of Supervisors, Smith said he could not comment and that his status will be determined by the rest of the supervisors. No action has been taken by the board at this time.
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.