Nebraska AG refers probe request to outside lawyer

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A complaint sent to the attorney general’s office saying the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission violated state open meeting laws with a hearing last month on a proposed Sioux County wastewater disposal well has been handed off to another party.

The office of Attorney General Doug Peterson said Monday that Bold Nebraska and the Nebraska Sierra Club’s investigation request will be referred to William Austin, former Lincoln City attorney. The office says the move is to avoid a conflict of interest, because Peterson is the oil and gas commission’s legal representative.

In their complaint, the two groups accuse the commission of attempting to restrict the public’s voice in deciding on a much-debated injection well proposal north of Mitchell.

Austin has been tasked with determining if any action is warranted.

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