Following a review of the agency, Governor Pete Ricketts has removed Colonel Brad Rice as the head of the Nebraska State Patrol.
Rice was dismissed from the State Patrol and as superintendent, according to a release from the governor's office. A review will be conducted by the state's chief human resources officer, Jason Jackson. The governor also named Administrative Services Major Russ Stanczyk, the senior member of the command staff, as interim superintendent of the State Patrol, effective immediately.
“Over the past week, my review has focused on how recent use of force investigations have been conducted,” Jackson said in a release. “ his 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.”
Ricketts said concerns had been raised about the patrol, including an Omaha World-Herald report on the internal investigation, which was about a high-speed chase that lead to the death of fleeing driver in October.
“My decision was based on the initial findings of the review being conducted by my Chief Human Resources Officer," Ricketts said in a release. "My team will commence a search immediately for the next Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol to lead this agency which is vital to protecting Nebraska’s public safety.”
In total, six people have been placed on administrative leave, including Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Schwarten.