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Former State Fair finance chief Patrick Kopke accused of theft
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Former State Fair finance chief Patrick Kopke accused of theft

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Before tendering his resignation, Nebraska State Fair Financial Director Patrick Kopke went through the numbers of last year where the State Fair lost a projected $1.4 million, closing by saying that means the State Fair is currently in "financial distress" during a State Fair board meeting Friday in the Nebraska Building on the fairgrounds at Fonner Park in Grand Island. However, the fair board passed a budget Friday that reduces expenses in areas such as personnel and entertainment, and estimates putting the State Fair back in the black by more than $300,000. (Independent/Barrett Stinson)

Patrick Kopke, a former chief of finance at the Nebraska State Fair, has been charged in Hall County Court with three charges of theft by unlawful taking totaling $5,000 or more.

The offense is a Class 2A felony. Kopke, 29, will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 9.

His name was mentioned prominently in an investigation into State Fair finances released by the Nebraska state auditor in July.

In the Hall County Court charges, Kopke is accused of committing fair-related theft three times in 2019 — on Feb. 7 and 8, July 12 and Sept. 3.

In court documents, his address is listed as both Hastings and Grand Island.

The complaint against Kopke was filed Aug. 31 by Chief Deputy Attorney General David Bydalek.

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