Heidemann resigns, withdraws as Ricketts’ running mate after protection order issued

    A Johnson County judge has issued a domestic violence protection order against Nebraska Lt.Gov. Lavon Heidemann after his sister, Lois Bohling, accused him of being violent.  
    Bohling applied for the protection order Aug. 27, claiming that eight days prior, on Aug. 19, Heidemann arrived at their mother’s home in Elk Creek and became angry, grabbing her wrists and “screaming at me with his face no more than six inches from my face.” She said he told her to stay away from their mother. Bohling stated the disagreement had to do with disbursement of farm property after their father’s January 2013 death. Bohling said she was then pushed by her brother before she ran out of the house, got into her car and left.
    “Had he stood at the foot of the bed and screamed at me, it would have been anger,” Bohling said in the application for the protection order. “Had he just charged at me and stopped six inches from my face and screamed at me, it would have been intimidation. When he laid hands on me and forced me out the door, it became physical and now I am not just afraid, but terrified of him. I don’t know to what level he will take his anger at me next.”
    Following a hearing in Tecumseh yesterday morning, a protection order was granted for a period of one year, prohibiting Heidemann from having any contact with his sister, visiting her home or being at his mother’s home in Elk Creek when Bohling is present there.
    In the application for the protection order, Bohling said that while discussing family property in October 2013, Heidemann ended up shouting at her husband, Mark Bohling. Later, during a November phone call, she said her brother got angry with her when she asked him to provide some values for some items their father owned at the time of his death. Heidemann allegedly got angry at her again in December during a family meeting and shouted, but didn’t touch her, according to the court documents. Bohling said in the request that she avoided her brother at social events and at their mother’s house as to not provoke him.
    Heidemann, 55, is a candidate for lieutenant governor with Pete Ricketts, who is running for governor. At this point, it is too late for Heidemann to be removed from November’s general election ballot. Laura Strimple, communications director in Secretary of State John Gale’s office, told the Lincoln Journal Star, “the only thing the statute provides is removal of candidate by death.”
    In a statement issued by his office, Lt. Gov. Heidemann said he “disputes much of my sister’s claims,” but didn’t specify.
    “ This is a private, legal family matter regarding disagreements resulting from my dad’s estate, as well as the best possible medical treatment for my mom. I dispute much of my sister’s claims. My immediate family has great support from the rest of our family, our church and our friends — we appreciate that support so very much in this difficult time, as we work toward a full resolution,” ”
    A spokesperson for Gov. Dave Heineman told JoAnne Young of the Lincoln Journal Star that he is aware of the situation with his lieutenant governor, and is gathering and reviewing the facts. “He is not going to rush to judgment on the lieutenant governor’s family situation. He recognizes this is a difficult and trying matter for the lieutenant governor and his family,” Heineman’s spokesman said.
    No citations or criminal charges have been filed against Heidemann.
UPDATED 9/9/14
     During a press conference Tuesday morning Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann resigned – a day after his sister issued a protection order against him.
     Heidemann addressed the press saying he was resigning as both Lt. Gov. and as Pete Ricketts running mate. Heidemann was emotional as he told the press he was grateful for the opportunity to serve the state but was resigning for the good of his family. Heidemann ended his statement by saying “I love this state, and the people of this state who have supported me”
He didn’t take any questions.
     Heidemann’s hasty exit now creates a bit of a problem for Pete Rickets in his bid to become governor. Rickets will  now need to quickly find another lieutenant governor. It is too late to take Heideman’s name off the ballot and state law requires Rickett’s to name his Lt. Gov. by September 1.  Pete Rickett’s is expected to announce his new running mate sometime today.

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