Citing policy violations at the highest levels, Gov. Pete Ricketts fired Col. Brad Rice, the commander of the Nebraska State Patrol, on Friday.The termination is based on the “initial findings of a review of how the NSP conducts use-of-force investigations,” Ricketts said.
The review is being conducted by the governor’s Chief Human Resources Officer Jason Jackson, who said unspecified violations of policies and issues of concern have been found.
During the past week, the review “found interference into the internal investigation process of the State Patrol, and violations of internal policies, among other concerning issues, at the highest levels of the agency’s leadership,” Jackson said.
In addition to Rice, two other command staff, including Lt. Col. Thomas Schwarten, are on paid administrative leave, the governor’s office said.
And, four other unnamed NSP personnel are also on paid administrative leave, according to the announcement.
Administrative Services Maj. Russ Stanczyk, the senior member of the NSP command, will be the interim superintendent, effective immediately.
Ricketts said a search will begin immediately for the next NSP superintendent.
Jackson’s review continues into unspecified other matters, the governor’s office said. He turned the initial findings of his review over to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for further investigation.