Ben Schwartz, Editor

The Deuel County Commissioners must end this farce and come up with a means of providing health insurance to Deputy Mike Hutchinson.

I spoke with two of the commissioners, Jerome Radke and Steven Fischer, who both assured me there were two sides to this story and they couldn’t comment until the issue was discussed at their next meeting. They deferred to County Attorney Joel Jay, who didn’t return two calls for comment. They had their meeting, and didn’t decide one way or the other. Based on the reports I’ve read, they are operating under the belief they are not legally obligated to provide Hutchinson health insurance while he continues to recover from gunshot wounds he suffered in the line of duty.

If Deuel County officials and taxpayers are not legally obligated to provide the insurance, they are without doubt morally obligated to provide it.

Citizens of Deuel County: Hutchinson was injured while conducting the people’s business.  This is your debt to pay. Do not pass off a burden that is solely yours to bear.

Pass a hat around to every man, woman, and child in that county if you have to, but resolve this situation immediately. It’s a disgrace, and Nebraskans expect more from themselves and each other. 

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