See a VIDEO of Bellevue Police Chief John Stacey and his attorney, James Martin Davis, hold a press conference on the misdemeanor charge for providing a handgun to former Gretna City Administrator Colleen Lawry.
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Bellevue Police Chief John Stacey will meet next week with City Administrator Dan Berlowitz to discuss the results of the city's investigation into a personnel complaint against the longtime chief.
Stacey has been on administrative leave since May 2 while the city investigated an allegation that he made an inappropriate remark to someone at the Fire Department on April 30.
The Bellevue city attorney has turned over the results of his investigation into the allegation, Berlowitz announced Friday. He said in a press release that he would discuss the findings with Stacey in a closed-door session before deciding how to proceed.
Berlowitz declined to release information about the investigation, saying it was a confidential personnel matter.
Stacey also declined to discuss the situation at a press conference he held at the office of his criminal defense lawyer, James Martin Davis.
Both Davis and attorney Ed Pohren, who is representing Stacey on the employment issue, said Stacey made a politically incorrect joke that was “innocent in its nature” in front of several people.
“It has been indicated that it was a sexual remark,” Pohren said. “That is not the case.”
Stacey used the press conference to defend his actions in lending two handguns to former Gretna City Administrator Colleen Lawry.
Stacey and Lawry each was charged Thursday with a misdemeanor handgun violation.
“I have not done anything wrong. Nothing,” Stacey said.
Stacey said the city's investigation, coupled with the misdemeanor charge, has been painful for him, his family, his friends and the members of Bellevue's police force.
He said he wants to return to his job as police chief and his volunteer role as a Bellevue paramedic.
“I want to continue that,” Stacey said. “I don't know what I am sorry for at this point. My record is unblemished. I have a jacket full of commendations.”
Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov has said Stacey should have known that Lawry needed a handgun permit under state law.
Davis has said no permit was needed because Stacey was lending Lawry his gun.
“This is just an absurdity that one of the finest chiefs of police in Nebraska could face a year in jail because this girl (Lawry) did not have a $5 (firearm purchase) certificate,” Davis said.
Stacey declined to answer questions about four city-sponsored trips he took to police and fire conferences that overlapped with out-of-state trips by Lawry that were paid for by the City of Gretna.
Stacey and Lawry traveled to the same four cities at roughly the same time between August and January.
Lawry told Gretna officials she was doing economic development research by visiting outlet malls. Gretna officials told The World-Herald a week ago that they were unable to verify that Lawry visited any outlet malls in the four cities.
Lawry was fired May 1 and charged with felony theft of between $500 and $1,500 for allegedly using money from a senior citizens fund for personal use.
Her attorney, Mike Munch, has declined to respond to requests for comment on her behalf.
Stacey will appear in Sarpy County Court on the handgun charge June 6, Davis said. The maximum penalty for a Class I misdemeanor is a year in jail and-or a $1,000 fine.
“I want John to go to trial and be exonerated,” Davis said.
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James Martin Davis held a press conference at his law office to let the media interview John Stacey, the Bellevue police chief charged with a misdemeanor for providing a handgun to former Gretna city administrator Colleen Lawry.