Gov. Pete Ricketts said Thursday he has dismissed Byron Diamond as the state's director of administrative services for how he handled a temporary employee who was mistreating women employees.

"We value our teammates," the governor said, and when Diamond failed to take corrective action with the temporary employee, Ricketts chose to fire him rather than accept his resignation.

The temporary employee was also fired.

Diamond was named director of administrative services in 2015.

The department coordinates state budgeting and accounting, building services, technology and personnel.

Ed Toner, who is chief information officer for the state, has been named the interim director of administrative services.

Democratic gubernatorial challenger Bob Krist issued a statement questioning why news of the firing came just days before Tuesday's election.

Speaking on a Thursday conference call with reporters, Ricketts said Diamond was counseled to take action against the temporary employee who used "inappropriate language" and was engaged in "bullying and being combative" in dealing with other employees, but he failed to do so.

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Those actions primarily composed of "discrimination against women," the governor said.

"I was angry and disappointed in the behavior of Director Diamond," Ricketts said.

The governor said he is committed to "make sure all of our teammates are valued" and are engaged in "a work environment where teammates can be successful."

"Mr. Diamond made a mistake and he no longer is with us," Ricketts said. "He consistently failed to take action.

"If Director Diamond had taken appropriate steps, we would not need this intervention."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.


Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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