The head of the Nebraska State Patrol was fired today by Gov. Pete Rickets, and several others were removed from duty, at least temporarily.
At a news conference this morning, Ricketts announced he had relieved the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) Colonel Brad Rice of his duties following a review into how use of force investigations are conducted by NSP.
“Today, I have relieved State Patrol Colonel Brad Rice of his duties,” said Governor Ricketts. “My decision was based on the initial findings of the review being conducted by my Chief Human Resources Officer. My team will commence a search immediately for the next Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol to lead this agency which is vital to protecting Nebraska’s public safety.”
“Over the past week, my review has focused on how recent use of force investigations have been conducted,” said the Governor’s Chief Human Resources Officer Jason Jackson. “This review found interference into the internal investigation process of the State Patrol and violations of internal policies among other concerning issues at the highest levels of the agency’s leadership.”
The Governor has named Administrative Services Major Russ Stanczyk, the senior member of the command staff, as Interim Superintendent of the State Patrol effective immediately.
At the news conference, Jackson said that in addition to the Governor’s dismissal of the Colonel that two other command staff had been placed on paid administrative leave. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Schwarten is among those being placed on leave.
A total of six personnel are being placed on paid administrative leave, including the command staff named above.
Jackson has turned over initial findings from his review to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for further investigation. Jackson’s review continues into other matters.