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Former Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly, who has been appointed U.S. Attorney for Nebraska, officially resigned his county position Friday.

His chief deputy, Pat Condon, became acting county attorney, and the Lancaster County Board began its traditional practice of soliciting applications for a longer-term replacement.

"It is the unofficial policy of the County Board to seek applications whenever there is a vacancy in leadership to ensure we find the most-qualified person for the job," said Todd Wiltgen, the board chairman.

The County Board has 45 days to appoint a replacement who will serve until at least January 2019, when a newly elected county attorney will take office following the November election. 

Condon is seeking the Republican nomination for county attorney, and currently there are no other candidates for the office in either party. The deadline to file is Thursday.

Though Condon might be considered heir apparent, the board wants to make sure there's an open and transparent process, said Wiltgen.

“This is not a foregone conclusion. There may be someone else out there who has an interest,” he said.

When former County Engineer Don Thomas resigned in December 2013, Thomas hoped the board would appoint his longtime employee, Doug Pillard, who planned to run for the engineer’s position.

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But the board selected Pam Dingman, who then successfully ran for the office.

The board is expecting that anyone who applies for the job should also file as a candidate for the county attorney's office, Wiltgen said. 

"While not a requirement for consideration, it would be strongly advised," he said. 

Interested applicants must submit a resume and cover letter by March 5 detailing their education, experience and qualifications to the County Board in care of: Ann Ames, deputy chief administrative officer. Candidates must possess a valid license to practice law in Nebraska, be a registered voter and be a resident of Lancaster County.

Resumes and cover letters may be sent via email to or via regular mail to 555 S. 10th St., Suite 110, Lincoln, NE 68508.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7250 or

On Twitter @LJSNancyHicks.



Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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