Probation violation warrant filed on Councilman Vinny Palermo

Judge recuses himself from further involvement in Omaha councilman’s case
6 News spoke with Richard Gonzalez and Vinny Palermo's attorneys following their arraignment in a Lincoln federal court Monday.
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 3:37 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - There is an active warrant out for Vinny Palermo, jailed Friday following his arrest alongside three other men, two of the retired Omaha Police officers.

When federal indictments were handed down Friday, Omaha Council Vice President Vinny Palermo was on probation after pleading guilty in 2019 to not filing three years of tax returns.

The new warrant for Palermo, for violating probation, is connected to that sentence.

While the government revealed tons of evidence Monday against all four defendants, there was one part that only impacted Councilman Palermo: the sentencing form he signed in 2019 stating the terms of his probation.

That form states that he must not commit another federal, state, or local crime; he must tell his probation officer if he has a gun in his house; and he must also inform that officer if he travels out of state.

The government alleges the councilman violated all the terms of his probation, and said they plan to argue why he should stay in jail until trial.

“Mr. Palermo has known about the current investigation for a number of months. He hasn’t left the jurisdiction — has no plans to leave,” his attorney, Randy Paragas, said Monday. “It’s my understanding they will handle it much the same way as bringing up the violation and letting the current case play out to determine whether or not that current case is a violation.”

Judge recuses himself

Also on Monday, U.S. District Judge Brian Buescher recused himself from further rulings on that previous case.

The judge presided over the case that resulted in Palermo’s guilty plea for failing to file his tax returns for 2013, 2014, and 2015. For that, Judge Buescher sentenced Palermo to four years probation and a $35,000 fine.

Buescher handed down that sentence in December 2019, so Palermo is on probation through December 2023.

In new court documents, Buescher wrote:

“At the time of the sentencing, the undersigned judge was not acquainted with Mr. Palermo. Subsequent to Mr. Palermo’s sentencings, Mr. Palermo joined and/or began attending the same church that I and my family have attended for years.

Given the new indictment, it seems possible that Mr. Palermo could face a proceeding in this case.... because of the alleged violation of his probation.”

U.S. District Judge Brian Buescher

Senior District Judge John Gerrard has been re-assigned to the tax return case.

Retired Omaha Police officer pleads ‘not guilty’ in federal court

The first of four men facing federal charges after two indictments were unsealed last week made his initial court appearance Monday afternoon.

Johnny Palermo was arrested Friday, April 21, 2023, after two federal indictments listed him in...
Palermo, retired police officers among 4 arrested on federal charges

Two indictments detail the fraudulent use of funds intended for LPOA, PACE.

An Omaha city councilman, two former Omaha Police officers and a fundraiser have been indicted...
Details about the 4 men and their 41 charges

Documents allege perks funneled to Omaha Councilman Vinny Palermo; retired police officers involved in the cover-up of a sex assault investigation; and a man raising money for LPOA, PACE under an alias.

Omaha City Councilman Vinny Palermo had nothing to say at a council meeting following an FBI...
City Council to consider removing Palermo from VP post

As vice president of the Omaha City Council, Vinny Palermo is third in the city's line of succession.

Omaha City Councilman Vinny Palermo
Mayor calls on Councilman Palermo to resign

Reactions from Omaha city officials ranged from “not shocked” to concern over the fallout of federal indictments resulting in the arrest of four people, including the vice president of the Omaha City Council.

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer talks about OPD policy changes on Thursday afternoon, June...

Assistant News Director Cassie Crowe contributed to this story.