In the summer of 2007, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning waived a $1 million settlement reached with a student loan company accused of improper business practices.
He later backed down after being accused of showing favoritism to Nelnet, a company whose executives had donated $16,000 to his campaigns.
A year after the controversy, Bruning and two top Nelnet executives purchased a $675,000 house together near the Platte River.
Bruning, now running for U.S. Senate, said it was purely a personal transaction, with all the costs associated with the property split three ways.
Bruning said the heightened scrutiny comes with being the front-runner.
He defended his decision to purchase the vacation home with the Nelnet officials, saying the company is not under investigation in Nebraska and there is no conflict of interest.
“Nelnet is a good, homegrown company that employs hundreds of Nebraskans in good jobs,” Bruning said.
Stenberg, the state’s former attorney general, said Bruning’s investments had shown “a reckless disregard of potential conflicts of interest.”
He said they raise the question of whether Bruning’s investment partners and companies have had business before the Attorney General’s Office and how the office handled it.
Published: Aug 28, 2011