Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daniel Thompson
Reporter 

Police Chief Placed On Administrative Leave Following Allegations

 


Kimball Police Chief Mark Simpson, who has served the city of Kimball for approximately two years, is under investigation by city officials, according to Mayor James Schnell.

“The Kimball County Sheriff asked Simpson to go on administrative leave because he made accusations,” Schnell said. “I have to do an investigation with City Administrator Ortiz to find out if they are of merit. We will do what the law requires and investigate.”

The investigation stems from a letter received by the City of Kimball sent by Sheriff Harry Gillway proclaiming that Simpson in his time serving the Kimball Police Department had allegedly made false statements concerning certain matters.

“I don’t get involved in city business. I want to steer clear of it, but this was serious enough to do so,” Sheriff Gillway said.

Simpson had served as a reserve deputy for the Kimball County Sheriff’s office from the time that he took over as Police Chief of the police department. He had recently been released from his duties by Gillway for alleged discrepancies that Gillway had found with Simpson’s statements while serving on the force.

“He was deputized by me. When I found out the allegations were true about his falsehoods, I released him from being a deputy for me. I verified what was true, and I found out that he wasn’t being truthful on several items,” Gillway said.

Though the current investigation into Simpson stems from accusations by Sheriff Gillway, it comes on the heels of another investigation that had been conducted by the W.I.N.G. Task Force that led to Simpson’s removal from its advisory board in February due to investigational issues, according to W.I.N.G. Task Force Coordinator and Chairman of the Advisory Board Mark Overman.

“He was a member of the task force advisory board. We did conduct an investigation into some actions that were brought to our attention. There was discussion which he was present for. That discussion took place at the January meeting and the February meeting. There was an agenda item to remove him, and he was removed,” Overman said.

According to Overman, along with the letter sent to City offices, the County Attorney, the Nebraska Crime Commission, and the Nebraska Attorney General, another letter has been sent to the Attorney General which was investigatory in nature.

Simpson was contacted for comment but is unable to provide a statement until allowed by authorities under the rules of his administrative leave.

Throughout all of accusations and the current investigation, Schnell shows unwavering faith in Chief Simpson and his accomplishments as the chief of police for the city of Kimball.

“I’m 100 percent behind Mark Simpson and what he has done for the city of Kimball and how he’s brought the Police Department and the community together,” Schnell said.

The results of the current investigation will determine whether Simpson is re-instated, faces disciplinary action or is terminated, according to Mayor Schnell.

Simpson is still the active police chief for the city of Kimball during the investigation. However, Captain Darren Huff will be fulfilling Simpson’s duties while Simpson is on administrative leave, According to Schnell.

 

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