Posted May 14
The city of Bellevue is expected to get the results of an investigation into its police chief sometime on Tuesday.
Chief John Stacey has been on administrative leave with pay for a couple weeks while the city attorney's office investigates locker room comments he allegedly made in front of a 12-year-old girl during a tour of the fire station.
After a two-hour executive session Monday afternoon, the Bellevue City Council emerged with nothing to add.
City administrator Dan Berlowitz said, "It's ultimately my decision. Whatever decision I make, the chief is under civil service statute and so he has the ability to appeal it to the civil service commission."
Berlowitz said he wasn't sure if the decision would be made public. He says the city is re-interviewing the witnesses and is expected to complete the reports by Tuesday.
In a Channel 6 News exclusive interview Sunday, Chief Stacey said he must remain tight-lipped regarding this employment case.
Posted May 13
The embattled Bellevue Police Chief John Stacey has an explanation about the handguns he provided to since-fired Gretna city administrator Colleen Lawry.
The Nebraska State Patrol and Sarpy County attorney are investigating to determine if any Nebraska permit laws were broken.
In an exclusive interview with Channel 6 News, Chief Stacey says he's done nothing wrong.
A police officer for 34 years, Stacey says he's done nothing to put him on the other side of the law. “Nothing is inappropriate on my part, nothing is illegal.”
Stacey describes Lawry as a friend. The former Gretna city administrator faces a theft charge, but long before her arrest, the chief says he loaned her two handguns.
“She lives in the country with her daughters, was having some problems out there and got scared and wanted some protection inside her home just in case. Loaned her a firearm, a small automatic firearm that wasn't very comfortable. Gave it back and I had a .38 wheel gun, which is a little more simpler and loaned her that to try and at that point the state patrol came knocking.”
Attorney James Martin Davis who now represents Stacey researched gun permit laws. “You didn't sell it to her. It was your gun when you lent it to her, it’s your gun now and when she gave it back it’s still your gun. That didn't require a certificate.”
Stacey's travel records as chief have also been under the media microscope. “All my documentation was correct. It was above board and there's no argument.” No misuse of tax dollars? “Absolutely not.”
Chief Stacey is eligible to retire, but despite the cloud of investigation and media scrutiny, he has no plans to quit and turn in his chief's badge. “Yes, I do want to remain the police chief and I want to get this matter behind us as soon as we can.”
Stacey says its not just his job or reputation on the line. “You know if they want to beat on me that's fine, but I've got a lot of good close friends and my family is taking a beating on this and they don't deserve that. So the quicker I can get ahead of this thing, get in front of this for me to get it off their back, the better I'll be.”
Channel 6 News spoke with Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov last Thursday about the case against Lawry. He reiterated that Stacey's involvement is just a small part of the puzzle. “John Stacey really isn't a target of an investigation. He's been brought into it incidentally or collaterally, but he is still under the microscope because of an apparent association.”
Chief Stacey is on administrative leave for an unrelated matter that has to do with something he said while a group toured a Bellevue fire station.
Stacey says he's been ordered by city officials not to comment on that personnel action.