Police chief’s credibility as a witness challenged
Imperial Police Chief Ryan Wisnieski’s credibility as a witness in court came under scrutiny during a Tuesday hearing on the state’s criminal case against Trent Zwickl, 42, of Imperial.
Zwickl faces two counts of use of a firearm to commit a felony, two charges of making terroristic threats, two charges of false imprisonment in the first degree and second degree assault.
The charges stem from an incident in mid April that involved both the Chase County Sheriff’s Office and Imperial Police Department.
Chase County Attorney Arlan Wine filed a Motion for Limine in mid-July in the case. A Limine motion is made before a trial begins, asking the court to decide whether particular evidence will be admissible.
The evidence in question in the case is a recent letter received from the legal counsel of the Nebraska State Patrol. The letter was addressed to Assistant County Attorney Rory Roundtree.
The letter indicates Wisnieski made application to become a member of the Nebraska State Patrol in 2009.
It also indicates that Wisnieski was not hired by the patrol based on the results of a polygraph examination.
The letter alleges the examination showed dishonesty by Wisnieski concerning a 2005 arrest he made for speeding and DUI where he allegedly committed perjury in the case.
Nebraska State Patrol Sargent Clint Elwood of Troop D in North Platte, who administered the polygraph exam in 2009, was subpoenaed by Wine to testify.
Elwood brought a file that included Wisnieski’s patrol application, personal history and personal notes made by Elwood during the polygraph exam.
Elwood indicated Wisnieski did not disclose the possible perjury issue until the pre-interview prior to the polygraph exam. During this interview, applicants can make any corrections to the employment application or history questionnaire prior to the polygraph test, Elwood said.
Elwood also indicated Wisnieski said he had not disclosed that he had been in a rollover accident while intoxicated and that passengers were in possession of marijuana.
Because he was intoxicated at the time, Wisnieski said the accident was not reported to law enforcement.
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