Disciplinary measures have been taken against seven members of the Nebraska State Patrol at the conclusion of an internal investigation.
Investigations of the conduct of the patrol began after the Omaha World-Herald published articles on two incidents last year. In one, a trooper used a controversial maneuver to sideswipe a fleeing vehicle during a high-speed chase, causing the car to crash, killing the suspect. In another, a trooper struck a drunk suspect with a rifle butt.
One trooper has been fired. A Lt. Colonel took early retirement. A sergeant resigned.
Four others have been disciplined. A major has been busted to captain. A captain has been demoted to sergeant. One other trooper and another sergeant have been disciplined, but retain their rank.
The incidents took place while Col. Brad Rice was superintendent of NSP.
Superintendent John Bolduc declines to name the NSP members or detail the reasons for the discipline.
“Well, that would get to the conclusions that are contained within the case file and I’m prohibited by confidentiality; none of the employees involved have waived their confidentiality rights,” Bolduc tells reporters during a news conference at the Nebraska State Patrol headquarters in Lincoln.
Bolduc says NSP is reviewing policies in wake of the disciplinary actions, including how it conducts investigations.
Bolduc does worry about morale in wake of the investigation.
“There always are concerns about morale and something like this will cause a lot of concern, but we have to forge a path forward as an organization and focus on the future and focus on improving those things that we can,” Rice says.
Gov. Pete Ricketts fired Superintendent Brad Rice after an investigation by his administration found fault with his conduct during the use-of-force incidents.
Ricketts fired Rice June 30th after receiving the preliminary report from Chief Human Resource Officer Jason Jackson.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]