Dawes County Sheriff Karl Dailey will be sentenced this afternoon in county court in Chadron for official misconduct.
The 9-term sheriff first elected in 1986 was convicted in a bench trial of refusing to accept a prisoner from the Nebraska State Patrol in July 2019.
Dailey faces a maximum penalty for the Class 2 misdemeanor of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. His attorney has indicated they will appeal the conviction.
Dailey maintained he refused to take Jesse Sierra because of concerns over Sierra’s medical condition and concerns over jail security. The defense also pointed out that the Sheridan and Box Butte County jails also refused to take Sierra.
Special Prosecutor Corey O’Brien, head of the attorney general’s criminal bureau, argued Dailey acted out of spite over feuds and perceived slights by the State Patrol and the Chadron Police Department that had been amplified by the Sierra case.
Judge Randin Rollin, in rejecting a motion during the trial to dismiss the charge against Dailey, saying “it’s very obvious in simple terms, the sheriff was pissed off” – that Dailey himself said on tape it was his way of saying “f-You.”
Evidence at the trial included some 4 hours of audio or video recordings, some from police body cameras of Dailey verbally blasting State Patrol command officers in colorful language.
The most-damning evidence was 2 lengthy interviews with Dailey by a State Patrol investigator several weeks later that the investigator secretly recorded.