The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 06, 1994, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Inside Tuesday
VOL. 94 NO. 72
I Stelnkuhler remembers 1983 Huskers, Page 7
Arts and Entertainment
Riepma Ross director appointed to NEA, Page 9
PAGE 2: Yeltsin criticizes NATO members
December 6, 1994
Officials stand silent in arraignment
Court enters
not guilty pleas
in three indictments
By Brian Sharp
Senior Reporter
Flanked by lawyers, Lincoln
Police Chief Tom Casady stood si
lent before a packed courtroom
Monday when asked to answer
charges of official misconduct.
I A grand jury indicted Casady
Thursday for mishandling and hin
dering a grand jury investigation.
The inquiry looked into the death of
Francisco Renteria, who died Oct.
1 following a struggle with police.
The court entered a plea of not
guilty on Casady’s behalf. His law
yers said they planned to file addi
tional preliminary motions.
Casady was the last of three pub
lic officials to be arraigned before
District Court Judge Donald
Endacott. Both Officer Luke Wilke
and Lincoln Fire Capt. Danny
Wright also stood silent when asked
how they would plea.
Casady and Wright were released
on $2,500 personal recognizance
bonds. Wilke was released on a
$5,000 bond.
Officer Stephen Schellpeper,
| also indicted, is out of state on
vacation and will be arraigned Dec.
me arraignment, scheduled tor
[ 9 a.m., drew about 250 people,
^ mostly police officers. The court
\ room began to fill shortly after 8
a.m. It quickly became standing
room only as the crowd spilled into
the hall outside the courtroom.
A conference in Endacott’s
? chambers before the arraignment to
determine the timeline for filing
additional motions de layed the start
' of proceedings until 9:25 a.m.
During the delay, Casady sat
quietly in the front aisle with his
wife and son, surrounded by family
and friends.
At the end of the arraignment,
Casady le ft the courtroom, shaking
hands with officers and receiving
j pats on the back.
After the hearings, Special Pros
ecutor Robert Bartle said Jan. 17
would be the earliest date for a
possible trial.
Bartle, anticipating motions to
quash the indictments among other
actions, said he thought lawyers
Travis Hsying/DN
Lincoln police chief Tom Casady shakes supporter’s hands after his Monday arraignment
Inter-cultural Coaltion leaders call for unity
By Matth»w Walt*
Senior Reporter
Fallout from the death of Fran
cisco Renteria continued Monday
evening as community members
again expressed outrage and doubt
about the handling of the case.
More than 60 people packed an
upstairs room of the Hispanic Com
munity Center for more than two
hours to try to form a plan for the
fledgling Lincoln Inter-cultural
Planning took up about 30 min
utes of the two-hour meeting, how
ever, as members instead talked
about what was on their minds in
light of misdemeanor grand jury
indictments connected with the Oct.
1 death of Francisco Renteria.
Harvey Garza, a member of the
coalition, said misdemeanor indict
ments ranging from official mis
conduct to assault were not even a
slap on the wrist.
“They seem to be diminishing
life and bringing it down to a mis
demeanor,” he said. “Is this an is
sue of race—them being white and
we being of color? That is what I’m
If the letter of law had been fol
lowed, Garza said, Renteria be alive
"Why did a man die?” he asked.
“There are so many things that need
to be answered, and J’m not hearing
Others attending the meeting
expressed a lack of confidence in
Mayor Mike Johanns’ actions in
response to Thursday’s indictments
of Lincoln Police Chief Tom
Casady, Lincoln fire Capt. Danny
Wright and Lincoln Police officer
Luke Wilke and Stephen
Lincoln resident Leroy Casados
said Johanns would have asked for
resignations of any public official
cited for drunken driving.
For the mayor to re-establish
credibility, Casados said, he needed
to remove those indicted.
Members of the coalition circu
lated a petition that attempted to
change the charges for Wilke and
Schellpeper to manslaughter.
Joel Gajardo, director of the His
panic Community Center, said many
were appalled by the charges, some
good would emerge from the in
Gajardo said the coalition needed
to strengthen itself and prepare for
tension among members, which he
said was natural. The coalition
needed to stay together and hold
elected officials accountable.
“Unity makes us strong,” Gajardo
Randy Thomas of Lincoln ex
pressed anger at representatives of
those indicted for saying their cli
ents were sacrificial lambs.
“What do we call Mr. Renteria?”
he asked.
Wes Brown of Lincoln raised the
issue of University Police involve
ment. He said University Police
officer Charlotte Veskrna, who was
the first to contact Renteria, should
have been indicted also.
“She started the whole thing,” he
said to cheers from those in atten
dance. “You don’t want to put guilt
on someone who was innocent, (but)
she was out of line.
“We want their resignation. We
want their resignation now.”
Accusations fly in engineering college debate
Lincoln professor
claims administration
‘ unresponsive to UNO
By Bilan Sharp
Senior Reporter
University officials have broken down
the engineering debate and college in-fight
ing to a question of money.
But now, the question is
ingulfing the entire pro
gram, said William Kelly,
chairman of the civil en
gineering department.
Accusations that the
University of Nebraska
Lincoln has placed a
strangle-hold on the
growth of a research cen
ter in Omaha, and that
nistration has been unresponsive
to the needs of UNO, exemplify this prob
lem, he said.
Mahef Tadros, a UNL professor and di
rector for the Center for Infrastructure Re
search in Omaha, made the accusations in an
area newspaper over the weekend.
The complaint, however, is not a one time
occurrence, Tadros said in an interview
“It’s a general statement that the civil
engineering program in Omaha is not receiv
ing much support or cooperation (from
UNL),” Tadros said. “It has been a continu
ous struggle ... and it has intensified.”
The research center serves both Lincoln
and Omaha faculty, Tadros said. Because
the civil engineering program has outpaced
other programs, the center has long out
grown its budget, he said.
Repeated request to administrators to re
allocate money to the center have fallen
upon deaf ears, he said.
See CENTER on 6
Smith to announce
recommendations on
new Omaha program
From Staff Report*
NU President Dennis Smith will publicly
announce his recommen
on engineering
education in Nebraska
sometime this week, NU
spokesman Joe Rowson
said Monday.
Rowson said Smith was
forming his recommenda
tions on whether to form
an independent college of
engineering at the Univer
sity of Nebraska at Omaha.
The NU Board of Regents will begin two
days of debate on the issue Friday at 1 p.m.
with an open forum, Rowson said.
He said the board would hear from people
wishing to express opinions on the issue that
began in August 1993 and Smith’s recom
Rowson said the board could act upon
Smith’s recommendation should it decide to
“It is an item on the agenda,’’ he said.
The debate over the college came to a
head last week with the release of a task
force report.
Smith charged the committee to study
engineering education in the state.
The report put the price tag of a separate
college at $29 million. If other factors were
added, such as improvements to scholarship
programs and other services throughout the
college, the price jumps to $33 million.