Nebraska’s Lt. Gov. Steps Down on Abuse Claim

     LINCOLN, Neb. (CN) – Nebraska Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann, resigned amid controversy today after a judge granted his sister’s request for a domestic abuse protection order.
     According to a complaint filed in Johnson County District Court, Heidemann “physically assaulted” his sister, Lois Bohling, during a confrontation at their mother’s home.
     The incident represented a breaking point after months of “heated” discussions that, according to Bohling, included an argument during which Heidemann “started to come over the table at me with a furor in his eyes, like a wild man.”
     Their disagreement was sparked by a farm lease termination notice Bohling had sent to Heidemann regarding two parcels of land left to the sister by their late father, but farmed by Heidemann.
     The siblings were also in disagreement over how to best care for their elderly mother, whose recent injury while participating in a parade also played a role in the alleged assault, Bohling claims.
     In the complaint, Bohling details a confrontation in which Heidemann “was forcefully holding onto both of my arms at the wrist area” as he pushed her out the door of their mother’s house.
     Since the incident, Bohling says she is “not just afraid but terrified of [Heidemann]” and feels “very unsafe for my husband, children, and myself.”
     The order issued by Judge Daniel Bryan Jr., bars Heidemann from coming into contact with his sister and orders him to stay away from his mother’s house for the period of one year.
     In a statement issued by the office of Governor Dave Heineman after Heidemann’s resignation, the former lieutenant governor disputed many of his sister’s claims, stating that the situation is “a private, legal family matter” and that it is “the people who have worked with me, who know me best, and know my character that realize statements that have [been] made about me are not who I am.”
     In addition to resigning his office, Heidemann also stepped down as the running mate of Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts, who is running to succeed the term-limited Heineman.
     The resignation ends a ten-year period in which Heidemann has held statewide office.
     Heidemann is the second Nebraska lieutenant governor to resign due to controversy in as many years. In 2013, then Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy left office after news reports detailed thousands of calls he made to women other than his wife on state-issued cell phones. Heidemann was named to the lieutenant governor post at that time.