NORFOLK, Neb. -- North Fork Area Transit was unable to make payroll Friday, leading to an emergency city meeting in Norfolk.

News broke Friday of financial issues with Norfolk Area Transit (NFAT) at the Norfolk city council chambers in an emergency council meeting. Jason Lammli, the legal counsel for NFAT, requested that $88,155.59 be paid to the non-profit in order to make payroll. While the details aren't all known at this time, NFAT is currently undergoing an investigation for alleged criminal misconduct. NFAT's general manager, Jeff Stewart, has been suspended, an audit of their finances has begun, and the Nebraska Mobility Management team will be taking over day-to-day operations.

"It's an internal investigation," Lammli said. "They're trying to figure out the financials. The board doesn't know all the details, so I can't give you every detail today because I don't know them yet." 

According to Lammli, there is no cash on hand to handle financial obligations, in this case, payroll. The payroll was due the day the emergency meeting was held, requiring city funding to meet their needs. President of the NFAT volunteer board Traci Jeffery says they are working to get a reimbursement from the Nebraska Department of Transportation. Reimbursement would be worth over $200,000, but would not come until next week.

Norfolk City Council voted unanimously to pay the $88,155.59 to NFAT. This sum was already agreed to be paid in quarterly payments throughout the fiscal year back in October of 2021. Instead, this lump sum will be paid immediately.

"I think it's something we already dedicated money to, and we need to move forward," councilman Corey Granquist said. "It's the fact that it's people's lives and it's not just the people who work there, but the people that are going to work."