No Unemployment for Lawyer, State Supreme Court Rules - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

No Unemployment for Lawyer, State Supreme Court Rules

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The former Howard County Attorney can't collect unemployment, after another lawyer was elected to the job.

The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday in the case of Bob Sivick, who currently serves as City Attorney of Grand Island.

Sivick previously took the case to the Nebraska Appeal Tribunal. That panel determined Sivick was eligible for unemployment benefits.

The tribunal said Sivick was not involved in policymaking or an advisory role, which qualified him.

The state's high court disagreed. 

The ruling stated, "Clearly... the county attorney is the chief legal advisor. Thus, these statutes show that the position of county attorney is both an advisory and a major position. While we concede that the giving of advice is not a county attorney's only function and in some counties may not be the predominant one, it clearly is a statutory duty of great importance, significance, and seriousness."

Sivick argued the ruling would exclude all lawyers.

But the justices wrote, "None of Sivick's arguments hold up under scrutiny."

After leaving Howard County, Sivick was hired at Grand Island City Attorney.

In July, Sivick was nearly unemployed again. Mayor Jay Vavricek cited a "general breakdown in the relationship." However, the city council voted to keep Sivick, who remains in that position.

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