The investigation into the conduct of Bellevue Police Chief John Stacey is over, its findings now in the hands of the city administrator. Friday, Stacey and his attorneys met with the media and made it clear the investigation may be over, but the process is not.
The arrest two weeks ago of former Gretna city administrator Colleen Lawry drew Stacey into the line of fire. A gun found in Lawry’s home was registered to Stacey. Prosecutors now say the gun was transferred illegally.
Stacey was placed on paid administrative leave for a comment he made at a Bellevue firehouse to a 12-year-old girl. Stacey is represented by one attorney for his criminal issues and another for his civil problems. Both lawyers say the chief is innocent.
“It has been indicated in the materials that we’ve seen that a sexual remark was made, that’s not the case,” said attorney Ed Pohren. “A remark that was made to a young lady with her dad present was a remark innocently made.”
Attorney James Martin Davis says the issue with the gun is no issue at all, that it’s not against the law to loan someone a gun and then take it back. Davis says no one has ever been prosecuted for that.
“They want to put one of the finest chiefs of police Nebraska has ever had in jail because this girl didn’t have a $5 certificate? Now does that make sense?”
Davis says his client is caught up in a feeding frenzy with lots of people hungry for details about the relationship between Stacey and Lawry. Davis says that has nothing to do with the case. “We're not here to satisfy everybody’s curiosity when Omaha has these periodic fits of public morality.”
With two cases pending, Stacey hasn’t been able to talk publicly about his side of the story. He will meet next week with Bellevue’s city administrator to discuss the findings of the investigation into the chief’s conduct.
Stacey will be in Sarpy County Court on June 6th to be arraigned on misdemeanor gun charges.