Former state fair finance director convicted of theft

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- The man accused of stealing money from the Nebraska State Fair has been convicted of felony theft.

30-year-old Patrick Kopke pleaded no contest Tuesday to three counts of theft. He was accused of stealing what court papers described as "movable property" from the state fair in 2019.

In 2020, the Nebraska state auditor of public accounts released a report to the state fair board, which also pointed out two checks totaling almost $150,000 that were paid to a private business owned by Kopke.

He resigned in 2019 after warning that the state fair would go bankrupt within a year.

He will be sentenced in October.