(Neb)-NSP Investigation Ends With 7 Disciplined
LINCOLN, Neb.(AP) - The lengthy investigation in the Nebraska State Patrol over allegations it mishandled internal investigations that led to the firing of Superintendent Brad Rice has ended with 7 troopers being disciplined.
Current Superintendent John Bolduc, who took over after the investigation began, says one lieutenant colonel retired, one sergeant resigned, one trooper was fired, one Major was reduced in rank to Captain, one Captain was reduced to Sergeant, and one Trooper and one Sergeant received administrative penalties but will remain in their current positions.
The investigation was launched amid allegations that patrol officials failed to adequately report and handle two alleged misconduct cases from the Panhandle last year. One involved a man who was killed during a high-speed chase near Gordon while the other involved a trooper who hit a drunk man in the head with a rifle butt after he ignored orders to get on the ground following a chase in Sioux County.
Bolduc refused to identify any of the employees covered by the final report actions, citing confidentiality rules, but the initial announcement by the governor that he was firing Rice and placing 6 others on administrative leave identified Thomas Schwarten - the agency's only lieutenant colonel - as being one of the 6.
Various media and other sources eventually identified the others as field services division commander Major Mike Gaudreault, Captain Jamey Balthazor - commander of the Panhandle's Troop E, Chadron office supervisor Sgt Kevin Waugh, Sgt Travis Wallace of the Scottsbluff office, and Chadron-based Trooper Tim Flick.
Waugh, Wallace and Flick are members of the union representing State Patrol employees and it says Flick was the trooper fired and that it will appeal. The union says the firing should be reversed because Flick was cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the fatal chase, but Bolduc says "honesty" fell short in the case.
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