OPD did not discriminate when passing over captain for promotion, state board rules

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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) -- A state board cleared the City of Omaha on Tuesday of discrimination accusations relating to two OPD promotions last year.

The Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission ruled Tuesday that no discrimination occurred when Omaha's police chief elected not to promote a top-ranking OPD captain to either of two deputy chief posts last July.

Southeast Precinct Capt. Kathy Belcastro-Gonzalez — who was listed at the top of an outside agency's ranking of candidates' skills and expertise — filed two complaints against the city after two other candidates were promoted in July 2018.

The decision sparked controversy.

"For deputy chief, never has the No. 1 been passed over. This time, Capt. Belcastro was passed over not once, but twice. Why would they not trust that No. 1 was the best candidate?" Omaha attorney Tom White said at the time.

The complaints filed with the state board alleged gender discrimination and retaliation had occurred when OPD Chief Todd Schmaderer did not promote Belcastro-Gonzalez to deputy chief or acting deputy chief of the department.

"The evidence fails to support the allegations of discrimination (see attached); and there is no appeal process," both rulings state.

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