The Bellevue Police Officers Association issued a statement Wednesday indicating it has "no confidence" in Chief Mark Elbert's ability to continue as its department leader.
The statement was issued following a meeting of the association's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 59 — which represents officers, sergeants, detectives of the Bellevue Police Department.
Jim Maguire, president of the Nebraska FOP and 25-year veteran of law enforcement in the state, was present at the meeting.
According to the statement, members at a union meeting Wednesday were presented with "evidence reflecting a pattern of dishonest and deceptive conduct" on the part of Chief Elbert, including tape recordings of Elbert instructing a BPD member to deceive other BPD members and conceal actions of the chief, especially in matters that were "contrary to desires of" other city officials.
“I categorically reject the false characterization asserted by the union and its attorneys in the statements they have recently published," Chief Elbert's statement says.
The union letter also accused Chief Elbert of initiating multiple Internal Affairs investigations against union leadership as retaliation for union activity, and indicated there was evidence the chief had made derogatory comments about women and minorities.
Elbert directly disputed the Bellevue Police Officers Association's allegation that he had made such derogatory comments, calling the suggestion "particularly offensive" as he is "a father to minority children... and would never tolerate such comments or actions.
These actions are intolerable for any leader of a Police Department," Maguire said in the statement. "It violates everything that law enforcement officers commit to when taking the oath of office and committing to live lives of high ethical standards. The position he put this officer in is unacceptable. The use of his power to attack FOP leaders is unacceptable.”