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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2009 Media Releases

March 23, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831


Mayor Chris Beutler today presented the Mayor's Award of Excellence for 2008 to Police Officer Cynthia Koenig-Warnke. The award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City. It was presented at the beginning of today's City Council meeting.

All monthly award winners are eligible to receive the annual award. Koenig-Warnke was the monthly award winner in July 2008. She previously received the 2007 honorable mention award for her work involving identity theft. In 2008, she was nominated by the category of productivity by Sergeant Sandra Myers for her work on the case of a missing elderly woman.

Koenig-Warnke had a new conservator appointed for the woman, so the flow of money from her bank account could be stopped. At that point, the loss totaled $70,000. Koenig-Warnke tracked the missing woman and a female suspect to a small town in Mexico. The victim had many health problems, and Koenig-Warnke suspected she was unaware of her circumstances. With funding from the National White Collar Crime Center, she led a team to Mexico, where the victim was happy to see them. She returned with the team, and Koenig-Warnke arranged for home health care for her. Myers said Cindy's genuine concern and her desire to help kept the investigation alive.

As a monthly winner, Koenig-Warnke received a $100 U.S. savings bond, a day off with pay and a plaque. The annual award comes with a $500 U.S. savings bond, two days off with pay and a plaque. Engineering Specialist Greg Topil received the 2008 Honorable Mention Award for his work on the City's 4th of July celebration. He was the monthly winner in October 2008.

The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer service, safety, valor and loss prevention. Consideration also may be given to nominations that demonstrate self-initiated accomplishments or those completed outside of the nominee's job description.

All City employees are eligible for the Mayor's Award of Excellence except for elected and appointed officials. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public. Nomination forms are available on the City Web site at (keyword: personnel) or from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Personnel Department, which oversees the awards program. All nominations are reviewed by the Mayor's Award of Excellence Committee, which includes a representative with each union and a non-union representative appointed by the Mayor.

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