Former State Fair finance director waives jury trial

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- The man accused of stealing money from the Nebraska State Fair waived his right to a jury trial.

30-year-old Patrick Kopke is charged with three counts of felony theft.

Last month, he waived his right to a jury trial and a pre-trial date is now set for August.

Kopke is accused of stealing what the court papers describe as "movable property" from the state fair on three separate occasions in 2019.

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

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

If convicted, he could get up to 60 years in prison.

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