No comments on FBI search from Palermo upon return to Omaha City Council

Homes of the councilman, two OPD officers, PACE offices searched by agents last month
The Omaha Latino Peace Officers Association is reorganizing
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 5:55 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Three weeks after the FBI served a warrant on the three homes including his, Vinny Palermo returned to the Omaha City Council on Tuesday, skipping all opportunities for comment on the raid.

Palermo, who represents south Omaha on the council, hasn’t been charged with a crime; but a judge saw enough evidence from investigators last month to allow the FBI to seize certain items from his home. The FBI also served warrants at the homes of two Omaha Police officers on Dec. 20.

That was three weeks ago. The councilman has remained silent since that time — and skipped the last City Council meeting.

6 News planned to ask Palermo for more details before or after Tuesday’s council meeting, giving him an opportunity to address the situation, but he wasn’t having any of that.

Instead, Councilman Palermo entered the city’s legislative chambers from a rarely used back exit in an executive conference room that’s not available to the public.

He usually crosses a walkway from the council offices into the legislative chambers as every other council member does. Tuesday, he just showed up by his seat as the regularly scheduled City Council meeting began.

Palermo left the same way he entered staying silent the entire time. He followed the private exit to his pickup in the secure parking structure and took off.

Omaha City Councilman Vinny Palermo had nothing to say at today's meeting following an FBI search of his home.

There was a possibility the councilman might have made a general statement — he had an opportunity this week as it was his turn to make remarks after the pledge of allegiance. But he didn’t.

“I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year; 2023 is here,” he said.

That was all he said: He wished everyone a happy new year, and the City Council meeting began in earnest.

The current president and past president of the Omaha Latino Peace Officers Association, both of them Omaha Police officers, are under investigation by Internal Affairs. OPD Officers Daniel Torres and Johnny Palermo, who is not related to the councilman, have been placed on administrative leave after FBI Omaha served warrants at their homes as well.

Select OPD detectives are helping the FBI with its investigation, but the FBI hasn’t yet said why they’re interested in this case.

Federal agents also served search warrants at the offices of Police Athletics for Community Engagement, a nonprofit known as PACE that’s dedicated to helping at-risk children learn about the importance of education through sports.

This is a developing story. Stay with 6 News for updates.