OMAHA, Neb. (CN) — It's been a long, downhill slide for Oliver Glass, the former county attorney for Dodge County, Nebraska.
He resigned in 2021 after two arrests for driving under the influence, and on Monday he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor conspiracy charge in federal court, admitting he worked with other law enforcement officials to deprive the then-boyfriend of his estranged wife of his 4th Amendment right to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure.
What Glass' punishment will be is unclear, much of it hinging on a pretrial investigation. Chief U.S. District Judge Robert F. Rossiter Jr. told Glass he would face a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a fine of not more than $100,000. Rossiter scheduled sentencing for February 17.
It could have been worse. A federal grand jury indicted Glass last year 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.
“It’s a very appropriate way to resolve the case,” Glass’ attorney, Clarence Mock, said after Monday's hearing. Glass, he said, “cannot deny that he had a role communicating with officers, that he was asking them to do things that were not proper.”
According to a news release from prosecutors following the plea, Glass worked with other members of the Dodge County, Nebraska, 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. Law enforcement officers would drive past Schany’s home looking for him.
A supervisor in the Fremont Police Department advised other officers to be on the lookout for the man dating Glass' wife, the release said. Fremont’s police chief did not return phone and email messages from Courthouse News on Monday, but he has previously denied to the Omaha World-Herald that an investigation was ever opened.
Another member of law enforcement, acting as a private investigator, obtained information not publicly available about Schany, the release said.
Prosecutors would not say if any other members of the Fremont-area law enforcement community could face charges. Mock seemed to indicate that was unlikely, though he would not specifically say they did not break the law, since they are authorized to access these databases.
"It might be cause for some kind of professional discipline, perhaps," he said.
Schany and Katie Glass, Oliver Glass' wife, are not specifically named in the federal indictment. But both have been named in local media and both are suing Oliver Glass and others in Dodge County District Court.
Schany has been convicted, among other things, of felony child abuse, the Omaha World-Herald has reported. And he pleaded no contest to shoving Glass in 2020.
It’s hard to discern when exactly the downfall of Glass, 47, began. In court on Monday, he told Rossiter that he had been on depression medication since he was in his 20s and more recently anxiety medication. He was in a treatment center for alcohol in 2017 and 2020.
Mock said his client had battled substance issues his entire adult life. Glass was appointed county attorney in 2011, then elected to the position in 2014 and 2018. His exposure to the harsh realities of crimes involving children and others may have accelerated his problems, Mock said.
“It was kind of off to the races when his marriage began to break up,” Mock said.
His troubles became public after two drunken-driving arrests in the Fremont, Nebraska area, one in 2020 and one in 2021. After the second one Glass resigned.
In 2020, Katie Glass filed for divorce. And in March 2021, Glass learned she was dating Schany.
At some point, Glass turned to his law enforcement friends in Dodge County — many of whom, like him, graduated from local high schools in the early 1990s and had known each other most of their lives — for help.
Among the reasons Glass was upset, Mock said, was that one of his law enforcement contacts had learned of a child abuse conviction when Schany lived in Iowa. He had spent time in prison. The officer saw photos of the child’s injuries. Oliver and Katie Glass have two children.
“He became very frightened and extremely concerned about Schany being around his children,” Mock said.
According to Schany’s suit, Glass sent “46 harassing text messages and ten (10) phone calls to Schany’s phone,” causing him to be hospitalized for six days against his will. One of the texts made Schany believe Glass had a role in getting Schany fired from his job.
Schany's complaint also alleges that Glass influenced Methodist Fremont Health, the city's hospital, to unlawfully detain Schany after he was hospitalized there, due to emotional distress from Glass' messages.
These days, Glass works for a company that sells advertising for golf benches. He has also worked as a lawn care laborer.
"The colossal consequences for him have been severe," Mock said. "It's going to be difficult for him to recover from everything."
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.