Rick Sheehy promised marriage.
A Bellevue doctor who was one of Sheehy's telephone friends says the two had a longterm relationship and that the former lieutenant governor told her they would marry one day.
Dr. Theresa Hatcher, a former Bellevue City Council member, was one of the four women that Sheehy frequently called, according to a World-Herald review of his telephone records.
She talked with Sheehy 367 times, mostly from 2009 through 2011.
Hatcher who is single, has worked in both Omaha and Sheehy's home town of Hastings.
She told The World-Herald she became romantically involved with Sheehy after meeting him at an out-of-state meeting for emergency responders in 2008. As lieutenant governor, Sheehy heads the state's Homeland Security efforts.
Hatcher, 53, described rendezvous in Omaha's Old Market and driving to motels in towns Sheehy was visiting. She said they also engaged in long, sexually charged phone calls when he was on the road and unable to meet her.
Hatcher served as doctor of the day at least twice last spring in the Legislature, where Sheehy, as lieutenant governor, often presides.
At least once, she acknowledged, she was warned by Clerk of the Legislature Patrick O'Donnell not to distract Sheehy.
She said that Sheehy told her he was unhappily married and that he planned to divorce his wife and build a new life with her.
“That was the plan,” Hatcher said.
|Dr. Theresa Hatcher holds a photo of herself and Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy taken at the Governor's Inaugural Ball in January 2011. She said she had the photographer crop into the picture so that only she and Sheehy were shown, cropping out her date and Sheehy's wife.|
She said she acted on that belief, purchasing a loft in downtown Hastings in September 2010 and hiring a contractor to undertake a $350,000 renovation.
Court records indicate that in May 2011, she stopped making the $29,000-a-month payments for the renovation. Hatcher said that Sheehy had broken off his relationship with her about that time, so she abandoned the home-building project.
She said they later reconciled, then broke up a couple more times before their last meeting in June 2012.
Sheehy's wife filed for divorce a month later, but Hatcher said that instead of hearing from her former lover, she heard rumors about him having an affair with another woman.
“He said, 'Oh, no. They're just rumors. Don't listen to them,'” she said.
Hatcher said she “retired” her relationship with Sheehy recently by buying a new ring and putting away a photograph of herself, shot with him at the Governor's Inaugural Ball in January 2011.
“I just don't understand it,” she said, of his new relationship.
She added that she now regretted the relationship and any harm it might have caused to Sheehy's wife.
“I regret now that many of my understandings and impressions about his marital status were later found to be inaccurate,” she said. “I have nothing but the utmost respect for Rick and Connie and wish them both nothing but the best, both personally and professionally.”
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