Omaha, NE.—Nearly three months after an exclusive investigation by News Channel Nebraska exposed serious problems within the State Patrol—potential criminal wrongdoing, according to the governor’s office—the patrol has a new leader.
Gov. Pete Ricketts today naming 52-year-old John Bolduc who most recently served as the Police Chief for the Port of San Diego the last seven years.
During the news conference where he was introduced to the public Thursday, Bolduc who will be paid $150,000 annually said, “policing is policing.
According to Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer, who lead the search for a new superintendent Bolduc, “Understands this game of law enforcement.”
Bolduc says he plans to make the patrol “the best public safety agency that we can.”
Problems within the patrol surfaced after NCN first reported a high speed chase and crash that ended with 32-year-old Antoine LaDeaux dead and the Nebraska State Trooper involved in the chase changing his story.
In an in house e-mail obtained by NCN through a public records request, Internal Affairs Lt. Dennis Leonard—who has since retired—clearly voiced his frustration with the patrol’s handling of the case.
“I never thought this likely but I must say that I no longer believe we are capable of objectively investigating our own,” wrote Leonard, supporting sources who have told News Channel Nebraska that the patrol had been involved in a cover-up.
Taylor Gage, a spokesman for Gov. Pete Ricketts, initially defended the patrol telling NCN: “This matter went to a grand jury, and the grand jury found the State Patrol’s actions were appropriate.”
A few weeks later Ricketts fired former Colonel Brad Rice paving the way for Bolduc’s appointment.
Bolduc, who is originally from Minnesota, is scheduled to take over the agency in October.