(Neb.)- Flick Reinstated To NSP
(Chadrad News)- A Nebraska State Trooper in the northern Panhandle who was terminated 20 months ago as part of the investigation into a pair State Patrol that led to the firing of Supt Dan Rice has been reinstated in an arbitration settlement agreement with the Troopers’ union, the SLEBC. Tim Flick returned to the Patrol on Tuesday in a sworn, non-enforcement position and says in a statement released by the Patrol that he is eager to get back to serving the citizens of Nebraska.
Under the settlement, Flick received an unpaid 30-day suspension – the longest allowed under the union contract – but also received the rest of the pay he would have earned since his termination in December 2017. A 20-year veteran of the State Patrol, Flick received the agency's Honorable Service Award after being shot three times during a standoff at Thiele Pharmacy in Alliance in 2012. He's been working the past year as a Dawes County deputy sheriff.
Flick was terminated by the Patrol after an internal investigation sustained a finding of Conduct Unbecoming with respect to dishonesty and the completeness of reports he submitted on the October 2016 traffic death of 32-year old Antoine LaDeaux during a pursuit on Highway 27 north of Gordon.
A Sheridan County grand jury called to review LaDeaux's death cleared Flick of wrongdoing in the accident, but a special prosecutor was later named and filed charges of motor vehicle homicide and reckless driving in the accident and with making a false statement under oath to the grand jury.
The charges were eventually dropped without comment a little more than a week before he was scheduled to go to trial, and since then the Nebraska Crime Commission has taken no action against his law enforcement certification, and a federal investigation has yielded no charges.
The State Patrol's initial internal investigation into the accident included video from Flick's dashboard camera with him saying he used a Tactical Vehicle Intervention, a move meant to bump a fleeing vehicle and have it spin out, but his formal report said LeDeaux actually struck the cruiser before Flick could institute the maneuver.
The patrol's top accident reconstructionist later concluded Flick had completed the tactic and that a coverup had been instituted by his superiors.
As a result of new information provided to the Patrol last year by attorney David Domina on Flick's behalf, the agency conducted a supplemental internal investigation that concluded Flick's actions did not meet the threshold of intentional dishonesty, in part due to influence of the troopers' union's attorney over Flick’s reporting, and the lack of guidance by his superiors.
Superintendent Colonel John Bolduc determined the conclusions of the new internal investigation reduced the level of appropriate discipline and that modifying the discipline and the findings was appropriate in order to settle the case.
The incident involving Flick was one of two from the Panhandle that led to a review of State Patrol internal investigations and resulted in Flick, Rice, and several top officers being fired, reassigned, demoted, or retiring at different times last year. Those disciplinary actions stand.
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