Gov. Pete Ricketts says the search for a new superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol will extend well beyond Nebraska.
Ricketts has assembled a committee to help in the search for a new head of the patrol.
“We’re going to be looking to get the best talent, wherever,” Ricketts tells reporters. “So, we will be looking in Nebraska. We’re going to be looking outside the state. We’re going to be soliciting candidates from anywhere we can find to, again, to find that best talent. We want the best person possible to lead that organization.”
Ricketts fired NSP Superintendent, Col. Brad Rice, after receiving the preliminary report of an internal investigation of the patrol conducted by his Chief Human Resources Officer Jason Jackson. Five others were placed on paid administrative leave.
The investigation continues even as its initial findings have been turned over to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Ricketts says he is looking for someone to be a “change agent” at NSPA and doesn’t believe the ongoing investigation of the patrol will scare qualified candidates off.
“No, I think the kind of person we want to help really affect that change is going to be looking to take on that type of challenge,” according to Ricketts.
Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer chairs the NSP superintendent search committee, which includes Weysan Dun, a retired FBI executive, former U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg, and Hall County Public Defender Gerry Piccolo.
Ricketts appointed Administrative Services Major Russ Stanczyk as interim superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol.
Almost no details have been released about the investigation or what prompted it.
Ricketts declines to give any details as to what led to the firing of Rice, though he refers to a “use of force” incident last year. Controversy also revolves around changes made to the official report on a fatal wreck in western Nebraska.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]