Nebraska’s attorney general is rejecting a request by
state senators to seek an outside lawyer to investigate the State Patrol.
Attorney General Doug Peterson argued in an open letter Thursday that he doesn’t have legal authority to request an independent counsel, an assertion that some lawmakers dispute.
The senators say it’s possible the patrol broke state laws, and the attorney general’s office would have a conflict of interest investigating because it’s tasked with defending the patrol.
A probe ordered by Gov. Pete Ricketts found that patrol leaders tried to influence internal investigations, failed to disclose trooper misconduct and didn’t property investigate sexual harassment allegations.
Ricketts has said his office shared its findings with federal authorities. Peterson says county attorneys can also prosecute crimes within their jurisdiction.