LINCOLN–Documents obtained by the Nebraska Democratic Party (NDP) through an open records request reveal a drop in the city water and sewer bill for Councilman Jon Camp’s Haymarket Square property from an average of $824 to $82 over the duration of 10 years with no correlating change in water use. Rather than alert the City of Lincoln of the obvious mistake, the Lincoln City Councilman quietly took advantage of the error for 10 years, and avoided a total of $46,516.79 in payments of the amount owed for his use of city services.
As the total amount pocketed by Camp approached $50,000, the city called upon the Councilman to pay the correct balance. Rather than pay the money he owed the city for his use of water and sewer services at his Haymarket Square property, instead documents show Councilman Camp responded with a series of demands and incorrect calculations in an attempt to reduce the amount he owed to $4,082.14. Ultimately he was able to negotiate a reduction of the water and sewer bill from $46,516.79 to just $16,860.54, saving him nearly $30,000, or 63% of what was owed to the city.
During this same period, as a member of the Lincoln City Council, Jon Camp voted to increase water and sewer rates by over 90% for Lincoln residents. Meanwhile, the councilman was taking advantage of the city through erroneous billing of his own water and sewer costs, and then tried to avoid paying his bill by negotiating down the amount he owed the City, whose interest he claims to put above his own.
In May of 2011, Camp made this statement in a press release during his campaign for re-election:
“I have never put my personal interests above that of the citizen of Lincoln.” Camp continued, “You can count on Jon Camp being a ‘watchdog’ for the citizens and taxpayers of Lincoln.”
“Once again official documents expose Jon Camp as someone who has used his office for his own personal gain,” said Vince Powers, Chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party. “Voters need to know that Jon Camp believes he is above the rules the rest of us have to live by. After being called upon to pay what he owed on his water and sewer, he worked outside of the public’s eye to cut his bill by $30,000, while voting on the city council to increase water and sewer rates by over 90% for the rest of us. The hypocrisy is astounding.”
Key findings from internal documents:.