An Omaha police homicide unit commander who drunkenly swerved as she drove her red Lexus sedan along a Nebraska City road was sentenced Monday to a year of probation.

After the Sept. 9 arrest of Sgt. Sheila S. Cech, department officials moved her to an assignment supervising new homicide investigations.

Cech, 48, whose blood-alcohol content was more than .15 percent when she was arrested, pleaded guilty to first-offense driving while under the influence of alcohol. The legal limit for blood-alcohol content is .08 in Nebraska.

On Monday, Cech's attorney said the experience had been “devastating, personally.”

“She's very sad to be in front of this court,” the attorney, Julie Bear, said in Otoe County Court.

Cech, who during the past two months was involved in leading the department's probe of a double homicide at an Omaha auto body shop, declined to address Judge Jeffrey Funke.

Cech's exact blood-alcohol content at the time of her arrest was not clearly stated in the arrest or court records.

Funke fined Cech $500 and ordered her to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings if recommended by her probation officer. Her driver's license was revoked for 60 days. A 30-day jail stint was waived as long as she meets the probation terms.

Probation terms often do not allow defendants to possess weapons. Cech will be permitted to carry her gun while she is working.

She was arrested about 1 a.m. on Steinhart Park Road in Nebraska City. She was ticketed on suspicion of driving while under the influence and driving on the left side of the roadway.

Lt. Darci Tierney, a police spokeswoman, declined to say whether Cech faced department discipline. It is a personnel matter, Tierney said.

In another case, a former Omaha police officer, Kevin Cave, also appeared in a courtroom Monday.

Cave was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Omaha and pleaded not guilty to a charge alleging that he misused a law enforcement database while he was an officer and sold information that he obtained to an auto dealer.

A revised indictment expands by five months the time during which Cave is alleged to have been involved in the scheme and increases to about $16,000 the amount of money he is accused of receiving. He previously was accused of getting about $11,500.

Contact the writer: 402-444-3106, emerson.clarridge@owh.com

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