A Nebraska State trooper fired in 2017 has been reinstated to the Panhandle’s Troop E, although in a none-enforcement policy.
On Wednesday, the Nebraska State Patrol released that Trooper Tim Flick returned to the Nebraska State Patrol on July 2. The action is a result of a settlement agreement with the Troopers’ union (SLEBC) through the arbitration process, the Nebraska State Patrol said in a press release.
Flick, of Chadron, had been fired in December 2017 after an internal investigation alleged Flick of conduct unbecoming with respect to dishonesty and the completeness of reports submitted regarding a crash that killed a South Dakota man, Antoine LaDeaux, 32. The crash had lead to an investigation on whether Flick had used a tactical vehicle intervention, or TVI, to try to bump a fleeing vehicle into a safe spinout on the highway. A grand jury convened in December 2016 cleared Flick of wrongdoing, but an investigation of the patrol alleged internal interference by supervisors. It lead to the firing of Col. Brad Rice, the retirement of another trooper and the resignation of a supervising sergeant. Several other personnel involved in the case were disciplined, including demotion of the then-Troop E captain.
At the time of his dismissal, Flick had served for 20 years as Nebraska State trooper and he had been recognized with the agency’s Honorable Service Award after being shot three times during a standoff at an Alliance pharmacy in 2012.
The Nebraska State Patrol said in the press release that new information had been provided to the NSP in 2018 by Flick’s attorney, David Domina, and a supplemental internal investigation was conducted. As a result of that investigation, Col. John Bolduc, superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, determined that modifying the discipline and findings was appropriate to settle the case.
“The internal investigation determined that Trooper Flick’s actions do not meet the threshold of intentional dishonesty, in part due to influence of the SLEBC attorney over Flick’s reporting, and the lack of guidance by his superiors,” the patrol said in the press release. “This reduces the level of appropriate discipline.”
As a result of the state’s investigation, Flick had been charged with criminal charges, which were dismissed by prosecutor Joe Stecher, who expressed concerns he would be unable to introduce critical evidence at trial due to statue of limitations. A federal investigation yielded no charge against Flick.
Flick was given a 30-day, unpaid suspension, which is the longest possible under the union contract. He will receive back pay, minus the suspension, which is standard practice.
Trooper Flick is eager to get back to serving the citizens of Nebraska, the patrol said in the press release.
The Nebraska State Patrol said in its press release that officials with the agency, as well as Flick and Domina, would not be providing further comment.