Jeff Fassett, director of Nebraska's Department of Natural Resources, has announced his retirement after four years in his position, according to Gov. Pete Ricketts.
The governor credited Fassett for his work in settling claims regarding Colorado's past use of water under the Republican River Compact and the department's completion of major basin plans for the Republican and Upper Platte rivers.
“Nebraska has an outstanding team at DNR, who are working every day to keep our state growing," Fassett said in a statement. "With their help, Nebraska will continue to be a leader in water management for years to come.”
Last year, Fassett sparked controversy after an audit revealed he used state-owned vehicles for trips to Colorado and Wyoming, where he maintains a home, and submitted an incorrect travel log. He had been given permission to work remotely from Wyoming following his wife's cancer diagnosis.
He later apologized and reimbursed the state for travel expenses, but he was denied the raise given to other cabinet heads.
Ricketts, however, praised Fassett for his work Monday.
“Jeff was the right leader at the right time," Ricketts said in a statement. "From agriculture to recreation, he helped build trust and solve problems collaboratively by developing solid lines of communication among interested stakeholders.”
Ricketts said Jesse Bradley, an assistant director at the agency, will serve as interim DNR director beginning Feb. 29.
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