Lincoln Journal Star

Nebraska's top federal prosecutor is stepping down.  United States Attorney for the District of Nebraska Joseph Kelly has submitted his resignation to President Joe Biden effective February 28th.  Kelly was appointed by former President Donald Trump and served more than three years in the position.  President Biden asked for the resignations of all U.S. Attorneys by the end of this month as he starts the process of replacing them with appointees from his administration. 

Lincoln Journal Star

David Karnes, an Omaha civic leader who was briefly a U.S. senator from Nebraska, has died. Karnes died Sunday from cancer. He was 71. Then-Gov. Kay Orr shocked state Republicans when she appointed Karnes in 1987 to fill the unexpired term of Democrat U.S. Sen. Ed Zorinsky, who had died of a heart attack. Karnes ran unsuccessfully for a full term in 1988, losing to Bob Kerrey. The Omaha World-Herald reports Karnes was an attorney in Omaha and Washington D.C., and was involved in numerous civic organizations and lobbying work for Nebraska in Washington.

Laurie Smith Camp, a longtime Nebraska attorney who became the first woman to serve on the state’s federal district court, died unexpectedly overnight at age 66. John M. Gerrard, the chief judge of Nebraska’s federal district court, said Thursday that Smith Camp died peacefully at her home. The cause of her death wasn’t disclosed. Smith Camp was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush in 2001 and was confirmed unanimously by the Senate. She assumed senior judge status in 2018, meaning she was semi-retired but continued to carry an active caseload.

A prosecutor says he'll call for a grand jury review of the case of a white business owner who fatally shot an unarmed black man during civil unrest in downtown Omaha. Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said in a news conference Wednesday that he'll petition the court to call a grand jury to review evidence to determine whether bar owner Jake Gardner should face felony charges in the Saturday night shooting death of 22-year-old James Scurlock. Kleine also said he'll turn over the case to a special prosecutor.

The Nebraska chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says it has hired an Omaha attorney as its new legal director. Adam Sipple will lead the state ACLU's legal program, replacing Amy Miller, who resigned in November. Before joining the ACLU, Sipple had spent 20 years as a civil rights and criminal defense litigator for Johnson & Mock of Omaha. Sipple says he's looking forward to handling complex litigation for the civil rights group, which in recent years has tackled criminal justice and prison reform.