City of Lincoln
2006 News Releases
The Lincoln Police Department and the FBI have concluded the preliminary work on the criminal investigation into the events surrounding the acquisition of fire trucks by the Lincoln Fire and Rescue Department. This investigation began on July 10, 2006. The primary investigator from the Lincoln Police Department Technical Investigations Unit has been Investigator Steve Niemeyer, and from the FBI, Special Agent Jerry Bell.
The investigators involved in this case have examined the evidence for potential law violations including Bribery, Official Misconduct, Obstructing Government Operations, and Theft by Deception. The investigation to date has not revealed evidence sufficient to support an arrest or criminal prosecution.
In the course of the investigation, the Technical Investigations Unit has completed 67 investigative reports. The Lincoln Police Department and the FBI have conducted more than two dozen interviews, and taken 16 statements from people with significant information pertaining to the events. Investigators have conducted forensic examinations of three personal computers, reviewed 54 documents, records of 374 telephone calls, and thousands of emails, including 159 emails relevant to the investigation.
Investigators have found significant evidence of ongoing contact between a bidder, EDM Equipment, and former Lincoln Fire Chief Michael Spadt during the bid process. Evidence also demonstrated that the former fire chief advocated on behalf of EDM, and showed that Mr. Spadt provided inaccurate reports to Mayor Coleen Seng and her staff concerning the compliance of the fire trucks with the City’s specifications. The evidence also showed that the President of EDM Equipment, Jeffrey Mellen, attempted to enlist the assistance of Mr. Spadt to intervene on his behalf in various aspects of the acquisition process. None of these actions, however, were found to violate the applicable City ordinances or State statutes.
The investigation has concluded that a significant contract dispute exists between the City of Lincoln and EDM Equipment concerning the contract relating to the fire truck purchase. It is the investigators’ conclusion that this is a civil matter, and that there is no evidence of criminal conduct at this time. Although the basic investigative work has been completed, as in all cases, additional investigation may continue as new information is developed