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Lincoln officer resigns rather than face possible termination

Lincoln officer resigns rather than face possible termination


A Lincoln police officer resigned recently rather than face a hearing that could have resulted in her termination, which stemmed from a woman's complaint she had threatened her.

Amanda Swyers' resignation was effective June 27, according to a change-in-status form filed with the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center.

Because she resigned in lieu of termination, her law enforcement certification status is locked, under a state law passed last year.

As long as it is, Swyers cannot work as a law enforcement officer in Nebraska, said Brenda Urbanek, the training center's director.

Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister said the department received a complaint from a citizen about the officer, prompting him to refer the investigation to an outside law enforcement agency.

In a petition filed earlier this month to obtain a protection order, the wife of a sheriff's deputy alleged Swyers had sent her a letter in March saying, "Every good predator stalks its prey before destroying it."

The woman said Swyers also had been "verbally intimidating" to her in a profanity-laced phone call in December.

She turned over the letter to the Nebraska State Patrol on March 14, but dropped her request for a protection order before a hearing set this week took place, according to court records.

Cody Thomas, a spokesman for the State Patrol, said its investigation found no criminal wrongdoing by Swyers.

After the outside investigation had concluded, Bliemeister said he requested an internal investigation to evaluate if the employee had violated the department's general orders.

He said it resulted in a sustained violation, which by definition means the allegation was true. That led to the scheduling of an administration hearing to consider disciplinary action.

But Swyers, who graduated from the Lincoln Police Department's training program in December, resigned prior to the hearing.

Bliemeister said LPD followed General Order 1430, Article 10 of the collective bargaining contract with the Lincoln Police Union, which deals with internal affairs investigations; Title 79, which deals with state police standards; and Nebraska state statutes.

Asked what effect the resignation may have on open criminal cases that the officer worked, which still are working through the courts, he said: "The Lincoln Police Department knows the criminal justice system extends beyond the actions of our agency. Correspondence was provided to prosecutors for their review."

On Tuesday, City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick said when he and other prosecutors are made aware of an issue raised over an officer's veracity, they are required to notify defense attorneys of it. As they did here.

Because Swyers was a new officer and not going on calls alone, it may not result in any cases being dismissed, he said. But it could, for instance, if she was the only one to witness a confession or crime.

"Is it possible some cases could be dismissed? It is," Kirkpatrick said.

He said if you've got an officer who has been found to have lied, it raises serious questions about their integrity, which attorneys could question them about on the witness stand. Kirkpatrick said fortunately the issue rarely comes up here, where officers are held to a high standard.

He said the chief of the criminal division was reviewing all open cases.

On the county level, Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon said Tuesday he wasn't aware of any open cases where Swyers' resignation would affect his office's prosecution of cases.

Swyers contacted the Journal Star but declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or

On Twitter @LJSpilger.


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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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