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Ex-Nebraska county attorney gets 9 months over stalking of estranged wife’s lover

Oliver Glass said alcohol addiction and depression led him down a dark path. A judge said he betrayed the public's trust.

OMAHA, Neb. (CN) — Former Dodge County, Nebraska, attorney Oliver Glass sobbed in court Friday as he asked a federal judge to spare him a stint behind bars on a misdemeanor conspiracy charge.

Glass, 47, pleaded guilty this past November in an agreement with prosecutors, admitting he worked with other law enforcement officials to deprive his estranged wife’s then-boyfriend of his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

A federal grand jury indicted Glass in 2021 on a felony cyberstalking charge, accusing him of sending threatening text messages to the boyfriend, Nathan Schany, and trying to get the local drug task force to open an investigation into him.

On Friday, Glass found himself in front of Chief U.S. District Judge Robert F. Rossiter Jr. for sentencing.

Glass told Rossiter that his actions occurred while he was in the throes of an alcohol addiction and depression. He said he was trying to protect his children from the boyfriend, who had been convicted in Iowa of child abuse.

“It’s true that when I did find out my wife was having an affair I was crushed,” Glass said. “I was at a very low point.”

He said he's in a program and seeing a counselor.

“I just want the chance to continue doing that,” Glass said.

Unmoved, Rossiter sentenced Glass to nine months in prison and gave him the option of self-surrender.

“Every day I have folks on firearms charges saying, ‘I needed to protect my family.’ It’s still a crime,” Rossiter said. Of Glass' addiction, the judge said: "I hear what you are saying about that. But it’s not excuse.”

Rossiter also sentenced Glass to a year of supervised release and a $3,000 fine. Prosecutors had asked for a full year in prison.

Glass resigned from the county attorney position in 2021 after two arrests for driving under the influence. Glass was appointed county attorney in 2011, then elected to the position in 2014 and 2018.

Prosecutors say Glass worked with other members of the Dodge County law enforcement community to use their access to restricted law-enforcement databases to obtain information about Schany, including his vehicle description and license plate number. Officers also drove past Schany’s home looking for him, according to prosecutors, who haven't said if any other members of the law enforcement community will face charges.

U.S. Supreme Court precedent holds law enforcement officers accessing databases they are authorized to access to is not a crime, even if the data is misused.

“It was more of a breach of contract or regulation than it was a crime,” Glass' attorney Clarence Mock said after the sentencing, referring to the officers' action.

During the hearing, Mock asked Rossiter to put his client on probation, saying Glass' actions "occurred over a limited time when Mr. Oliver Glass was in the throes of a pernicious alcohol addiction and depression that he has now brought under control.”

Attorneys who worked with Glass have suggested “he was a decent person who loved his children,” Mock said. “But for his personal issues and his alcohol issues in 2020 he would not have come before you.”

Mock also said Glass' actions occurred when he learned of the background of the man his estranged wife was seeing. His motivation, Mock said, was not to hurt or harass someone, but to get information that could protect his children.

But Sean Lynch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office cited vulgar texts found by investigators about Glass' wife having sex with the boyfriend.

““This isn’t about the children,” Lynch said Rossiter. “This is about his wife moving on and experiencing a new relationship.”

In text messages obtained by investigators, Glass called the officers “my cops." Photos he saw from the Iowa case were not available to the general public, leading Lynch to describe the case as one of “corruption.”

He called for Glass' incarceration as a deterrent. Referring to the officers involved, he said, “Some of them are still in law enforcement.”

In sentencing Glass to prison, Rossiter mentioned Glass’ citing of his record of public service. “In doing so, you held yourself to a higher standard,” he said. “You broke that oath and you breached the public trust.” He added that looking at all the evidence, many of Glass' actions stemmed from jealously rather than looking out for his children.

Schany and Katie Glass sued Oliver Glass and others in Dodge County District Court but later asked a judge to dismiss the case without prejudice. The judge did so on Dec. 6.

Besides a felony child abuse conviction, Schany pleaded no contest to shoving Oliver Glass at a gas station in 2020.

It remains unknown when Glass will turn himself in or where he will serve his sentence.

Categories: Criminal Law

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