Read more about John Stacey:
* * *
Bellevue Police Chief John Stacey will receive at least $212,800 — in addition to his police pension — for his unused vacation and sick leave after he retires Friday.
City Administrator Dan Berlowitz accepted Stacey's resignation Wednesday as police chief and volunteer paramedic for the Bellevue Fire Department.
“I made the decision to resign based on what I believe is in the best interest of my family, the men and women of the police department and the city of Bellevue,” Stacey said in a joint statement issued by him and the city.
Stacey, 56, has been on paid administrative leave for a month from his $107,000-a-year job. He was placed on leave after the city investigated an allegations that he made an inappropriate remark at the Fire Department April 30.
Then he was charged May 17 with a misdemeanor gun violation. He has acknowledged lending two handguns to former Gretna City Administrator Colleen Lawry but has said he did nothing wrong.
Lawry also was charged with a misdemeanor over the gun loan.
In recent days, Stacey was confronted with new allegations of impropriety, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations.
“Multiple people stepped up with multiple allegations. This was used as a bargaining chip to get Chief Stacey to leave,” one source said.
Stacey, who has worked for Bellevue since 1978, has been involved in several controversies in Bellevue in recent years.
He fired Police Officer Christopher Parent for being overweight, saying it violated a department policy requiring officers to maintain a high level of physical conditioning. Parent's termination was overturned by the courts.
After the city paid Parent more than $103,000 in back pay, Stacey placed him on indefinite paid administrative leave. As a result, the city paid Parent about $170,000 in salary and benefits without his working a single day.
Parent, who retired in January, said Wednesday that he was disappointed the city gave Stacey the opportunity to resign.
“I don't think he deserves to be allowed to retire, if the allegations against him have been substantiated,” Parent said. “I think it's a shame the city is allowing him to quietly go away into the night after he ruthlessly came after me for doing nothing wrong, and then he did the same thing with Roger Anderson.”
Stacey fired officer Roger Anderson in February for giving Parent a firearms test. Anderson, who has appealed his termination, would lose $200,000 from his pension if his termination is upheld because the firing came 40 days before he was eligible for full benefits.
Bellevue City Councilwoman Carol Blood said she was pleased to learn that Stacey's monthlong personnel issue has drawn to a close.
“I can say a lot of the citizens would have liked to have Chief Stacey fired,” Blood said, “but that would do the city coffers absolutely no good. That, more than anything, would have likely resulted in additional attorney's fees.”
In Wednesday's press release, city officials said they will honor their legal obligation to buy back 100 percent of Stacey's unused vacation leave and provide him with mandatory police pension benefits.
Stacey will be limited to selling back 50 percent of his unused sick leave, up to 960 hours, under city policy.
Stacey's unused vacation hours are worth about $165,300, and he will receive about $47,500 for the unused sick time.
He is getting the same benefits provided to all departing City of Bellevue employees, whether they resign or are discharged, according to the release.
Blood said that Stacey qualifies for a police pension and that the city could not strip him of his accrued vacation and sick leave benefits.
Stacey and his lawyers, Ed Pohren and James Martin Davis, did not return messages seeking comment.
Stacey and Lawry are both scheduled to appear next Wednesday in Sarpy County Court on the handgun charge. The maximum penalty for a Class I misdemeanor is a year in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.
Contact the writer: