Criminal charges dropped against ex-Verdigre clerk

VERDIGRE, Neb. (AP) - Prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against a former Verdigre village clerk who was fined $6,000 last week by the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission for abusing public office.  Alisha Bartling had faced three theft charges in Knox County Court. But Thomas Herzog, the Holt County attorney who had been named a special prosecutor, dropped the charges on Wednesday.  Last week, Bartling was fined for making a housing loan to herself and her husband. The Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission also found she had made loans to her husband's business and brother-in-law and failed to keep accurate records of the loans or enforced timely payments on them.  Bartling, who was named the 2011 Outstanding Clerk of the Year, agreed to the fine.