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Judge strikes down changes made to insurance pool protecting Nebraska towns and villages by ousted board
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Judge strikes down changes made to insurance pool protecting Nebraska towns and villages by ousted board

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A few weeks after ousting one of two boards seeking to control a taxpayer-funded insurance pool, a Lancaster County District Court judge said changes that board made to the organization were unlawful.

The original board of the League Association of Risk Management, a risk-sharing pool that provides insurance coverage to more than 170 political subdivisions in the state, had taken action to distance itself from the League of Nebraska Municipalities.

In 2018, the now-defunct board consisting of appointed members, most of whom had continued to serve after their terms had expired, amended the League Association of Risk Management's bylaws to remove the League of Nebraska Municipalities from any position of authority over the pool.

The League of Nebraska Municipalities formed the risk-sharing pool in 1989 to provide more affordable insurance coverage to its member towns and cities.

The former board also voted to eliminate the organization's annual meeting, where board members were purportedly selected from among the members, and changed the voting protocol so that elections would take place via mail-in ballot and without any last-minute nominations.

Writing in a Sept. 11 order, Judge Jodi Nelson said the board she ousted a month ago did not have any legal authority to make those changes. The ruling sides with Lynn Rex, executive director of the League of Nebraska Municipalities, as well as several cities that sued the board.

Nelson dismissed two claims brought against the former board that members violated the Nebraska Open Meetings Act when they convened to vote on changes to bylaws and voting protocol, however.

A third lawsuit, this one initiated by the League Association of Risk Management against the new 15-member board elected earlier this year, remains pending in Lancaster County District Court.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS.

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