Legislature Confirms Appointment of Corrections Director

Michael Kenney

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Lawmakers have confirmed Michael Kenney as director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.

Senators voted 30-9 on Thursday to confirm Kenney, who was appointed by the governor in September.

Supporters argued that Kenney brings 36 years of experience in correctional services, including time spent in Nebraska and Washington. Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha urged lawmakers to reject Kenney, saying Nebraska's next governor should make an appointment. Some opponents argued that Kenney wasn't forthcoming when answering lawmaker questions in legislative prison-reform hearings earlier this year.

Nebraska lawmakers have passed measures this year designed to reduce overcrowding in Nebraska's prisons, which were at 155 percent of capacity as of March 31.