OMAHA - State Sen. Ray Mossey of Bellevue was arrested Friday on suspicion of prescription fraud and carrying a concealed weapon.
Mossey, a retired Omaha police officer, was arrested at the University of Nebraska Medical Center after officers were called to the hospital, Omaha Police Department spokeswoman Cathy Martinec said.
She said someone in the hospital's pharmacy called police when Mossey tried to fill prescriptions for painkillers seemingly from several different doctors.
Mossey, 36, was released from jail after posting bail, Martinec said. She did not know how much bail Mossey was required to put up.
The prescription drug charge is a felony and the concealed weapon charge a misdemeanor, according to Sgt. Teresa Negron of OPD.
A message left at Mossey's home Saturday was not returned.
Mossey, a Republican, was tapped by Gov. Mike Johanns in 2002 to fill a seat left vacant when Jon Bruning was elected state attorney general. Mossey serves on the Legislature's Judiciary, Agriculture and General Affairs committees.
The Sarpy County senator introduced at least two bills related to crime during this year's legislative session. One, which was enacted, created the offense of domestic assault. Prior to the new law, domestic violence crimes were prosecuted under the state's general assault statutes.
The other, which failed, would have allowed judges to consider a defendant's danger to society in denying bail. That bill was prompted by the efforts of Stacey Pratt, the wife of slain Omaha police officer Jason Pratt. He was killed last year by an armed felon who was awaiting sentencing for probation violations.
Mossey was a police officer from 1992 until he was forced to retire in 2001 because of a back injury he suffered when a drunken driver hit his cruiser.
Johanns said Saturday he would encourage the senator to get help if addiction is his problem.
The little information Johanns had heard led him to conclude there was an addiction to pain killers that "probably dates back to injuries he received as a police officer."
"If there is a problem, acknowledge it, get help and work through it. That should be his No. 1 priority," Johanns said. "Help is out there."
Before joining the Omaha Police Department, Mossey worked two years as a deputy sheriff for Sarpy County. From 1986 until 1990, he served in the U.S. Air Force as a security police officer.
Mossey is seeking election to the seat this year. He faces retired Gretna Public Schools Superintendent Gail Kopplin in the November general election.
Mossey can keep his legislative position while charged with a felony. If he is convicted of a felony, there are conflicting opinions about whether he would be required to resign.
Former Attorney General Bob Spire said a state elected official could serve out the remainder of a term after being sentenced for a felony. But former Attorney General Don Stenberg said an elected official found guilty of a felony must resign after sentencing.
Several other state elected officials have been charged with felonies in the past two decades.
Former Attorney General Paul L. Douglas resigned in 1984 after a jury convicted him of perjury. That conviction was later overturned by the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Former Sen. Jim Pappas resigned in 1987 after being convicted of a felony related to a state lottery ballot petition drive. Former Sen. Bernice Labedz was charged with a felony relating to collecting signatures for that petition drive, but a jury found her innocent.
And former Sen. Kurt Hohenstein resigned in 1993 as part of a plea bargain after he was charged with stealing more than $30,000 from a client.
Lincoln Journal Star writer Nancy Hicks contributed to this report. Reach her at 473-7250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.