Mayor Chris Beutler today will present the Mayor's Award of Excellence for November to Lincoln Police Department (LPD) Investigator Timothy Mika from the LPD Technical Investigations Unit. The award will be presented at the beginning of today's City Council meeting at 3 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, County-City Building, 555 S. 10th St. The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City.
Investigator Mika has worked for the City since 2006. He was nominated in the category of productivity by Sergeant Sandra Myers of the Technical Investigations Unit for his work on a fraud case. He was assigned to the case when he first joined the unit in January 2014. A local bank was reporting losses of more than $250,000 through its transactions with a local construction company. Further investigation found more than 20 subcontractors had also been victimized by this same construction company and suffered losses in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Mika interviewed bank and loan officials, served subpoenas to obtain records, interviewed subcontractors, and compiled and photographed all the job sites, work orders and receipts. The investigation uncovered a scheme to defraud the local bank by using bogus documentation in order to obtain lines of credit. The company also presented bogus checks and invoices showing materials and labor had been provided and paid for when in fact, none of the work had been completed and no checks had been issued. Mika continued to line up each case of fraud against the owners of the construction company. He presented his case to the U.S Attorney's Office, and federal indictments were brought against the two owners of the construction company for bank fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
The people of Lincoln and local financial institutions suffer huge losses each year because of scammers and people committing fraud. This long and detailed investigation is just one of many that Investigator Mika has successfully investigated.
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer relations loss prevention, safety and valor. Consideration also may be given to nominations that demonstrate self-initiated accomplishments or those completed outside of the nominee's job description. All City employees are eligible for the Mayor's Award of Excellence except for elected and appointed officials.
Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public. Nomination forms are available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: hr) or from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Human Resources Department, which oversees the awards program. All nominations are considered by the Mayor's Award of Excellence Committee, which includes a representative with each union and a non-union representative appointed by the Mayor. Award winners receive a $50 gift certificate, a day off with pay and a plaque. All monthly winners and nominees are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $250 gift certificate, two days off with pay and a plaque.