Update: Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy Resigns
Saying trust has been broken, Gov. Dave Heineman accepts the resignation of Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy, after questions arose over Sheehy's personal life.
Heineman made the surprise announcement Saturday morning, shaking up Nebraska's political landscape.
Just one week ago, Sheehy was all smiles as he tried to sell Nebraskans on the governor's tax cut plan.
Now Sheehy is out, amidst a flurry of questions.
"I trusted him and obviously that trust was broken," Heineman said.
Heineman says the resignation follows a public records request from the Omaha World-Herald.
The newspaper reports it has been looking into Sheehy's phone records, saying he used a state-issued cell phone to call women late into the night.
Heineman would not elaborate on that, but said he became aware of the situation on Friday.
"Public officials are rightly held to a higher standard," Heineman said. "We take public trust very seriously. Late yesterday, I became aware of new information regarding the lieutenant governor's personal decisions and subsequently I had a conversation with him."
Theresa Hatcher -- a family doctor based in Bellevue -- told NTV News Saturday, "After meeting the lieutenant governor at political events, I eventually grew to have a personal relationship with him. I regret now that many of my understandings and impressions of his marital status were later found to be inaccurate."
Hatcher refused to comment any further regarding her future intentions with Sheehy, but she did say that she thought she "was the only one."
Newly-released records show Sheehy made thousands of late-night phone calls to Hatcher and three other women on his state-issued cellphone.
Sheehy's wife Connie filed for divorce last year. They have two adult children.
He calls Hastings home and served the community as mayor before becoming lieutenant governor eight years ago.
Voter records indicate Sheehy has been living in Lincoln.
His social media accounts have been de-activated.
His resignation is immediate, following a private conversation the governor would not elaborate on.
"Got a knot in my stomach," Heineman said. "I'm deeply disappointed. He's done a lot of good things for the state, that trust was broken and he's resigned."
Heineman says he'll move quickly, saying with the legislature in session he needs someone to deal with key issues like tax reform.
Furthermore, Sheehy had been considered a front–runner in the race for governor, but Heineman said he can no longer support Sheehy, and that this likely ends Sheehy's run for governor.
This following Mike Flood's decision to drop out of the race. Flood -- the popular former speaker of the legislature -- was also considered a strong candidate, but his wife's cancer diagnosis prompted him to end his campaign.
State senator Charlie Janssen has said he is considering a run, but now, instead of two known candidates in Sheehy and Flood, it could be a wide–open race.
To see Sheehy's letter of resignation, click here.