By Lauren Brant
Investigation into a 2016 incident north of Gordon has resulted in the Nebraska State Patrol firing Trooper Tim Flick.
It was previously reported that former U.S. attorney Joe Stecher was appointed to investigate and prosecute troopers involved in use-of-force incidents following a fatal accident north of Gordon. On Oct. 3, 2016, a high-speed chase resulted in the death of 32-year-old Antoine L. Ladeaux after Trooper Flick used a tactical vehicle intervention (TVI) to spin the vehicle.
Following that accident, the case went before a grand jury that found no foul play by Flick. Court documents presented to the Sheridan County District Court listed Cpt. Jamey Balthazor, Sgt. Kevin Waugh, Sgt. Travis Wallace, Maj. Mike Gaudreault, Lt. Col. Thomas Schwarten, and Trooper Tim Flick were on paid administrative leave, effective June 30, due to their involvement in the internal investigations of the high-speed chase.
Gov. Pete Ricketts also appointed John Bolduc as the state patrol superintendent, replacing Col. Brad Rice. Over the course of almost four months, Bolduc investigated two internal use-of-force investigations that occurred in 2016. The one north of Gordon and the other when a trooper used a rifle to shoot a drunk motorist in northwest Nebraska.
In a press conference held last Wednesday, the Omaha World-Herald reported that Bolduc said Flick was one of seven troopers who either resigned, retired or were disciplined for their violation of internal policy and procedures. The violations uncovered by the investigation stemmed from honesty issues.
As for the Ladeaux case, Stecher hopes to have a decision as early as January about the potential criminal misconduct. The case is also under investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Omaha.
The Omaha World-Herald reported that besides Flick, a lieutenant colonel retired, a sergeant resigned, a patrol major and patrol captain were demoted to captain and sergeant, respectively, and a sergeant and trooper received administrative penalties for their actions.