State senator calls for investigation of former senator Mike Groene


LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Nebraska State Senator Megan Hunt called on the Attorney General, Superintendent of Law Enforcement and Nebraska State Capitol Security to investigate the former Nebraska State Capitol on Saturday. State Sen. Mike Groene.

State Sen. Mike Groene tendered his resignation Friday afternoon after denying accusations that he took sexually inappropriate photos of a legislative aide.

Hunt provided three newspaper articles regarding Groene’s accused actions, along with the following email:


Like many in the state government, you have learned that State Senator Mike Groene announced on February 18, 2022 that he would be stepping down from his legislative seat after it was discovered that he had taken and shared photographs not consensus of a member of its legislative staff.

According to news reports, which I have included for your reference, Senator Groene apparently took several photographs without the knowledge or consent of his aide.

He then apparently shared some of these photos with others and allegedly shared these images along with sexualized or rude comments. It’s unclear from media reports, but it appears these photographs may have been taken or stored using a state-owned computer.

It appears that the photographs of the staff member were taken at the workplace, on state property, in Senator Groene’s state office in the Capitol building. It also appears that a number of other senators were aware of Senator Groene’s actions before they were made public. Finally, senators in leadership positions may have contacted the employee who was objectified by Senator Groene’s actions and after she filed a formal complaint with the Legislative Assembly. This situation presents possible criminal mischief.

Based on my review of the attached news reports, several criminal statutes may be involved:

● Depending on the type or nature of the photographs taken by Senator Groene, they could violate Section 28-311.08, Unlawful Trespass, which makes it a crime for anyone to photograph or record an image of the area intimate with another person. without their knowledge or consent. This is a class IV felony and if a person is convicted they must register as a sex offender;

● Section 28-311.08 also provides that sharing or distributing non-consensual images is a Class II-A felony, and is also a recordable offence;

● If the photos were taken with, or recorded and stored on, a state-issued laptop, or other state-issued computer, it is likely an official misconduct or misuse of the property of the State, in violation of Section 28-924. I haven’t read all of the rules and regulations relating to senators’ use of computers, but I’m sure it’s not permitted under any circumstances to take and/or store surreptitious photos of young women with government computer equipment;

● If Senator Groene, or any other state senator, attempted to dissuade or encourage the staff member to withhold any testimony, information, documents or things, or to cooperate with an investigation relating to the complaint that he filed against Senator Groene, this could be witness tampering in violation of Rule 28-919.

This list is not exhaustive, as I have only made a summary examination of the statutes.

I urge you to investigate this matter quickly and thoroughly. You represent our state’s law enforcement and personnel security leadership on Capitol Hill. This problem deserves your priority attention.

Respectfully, Megan Hunt State Senator, District 8

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