Omaha Councilman Palermo to remain in jail until trial

The decision comes days after the three other suspects in the public corruption case were also ordered to remain in custody.
An Omaha City Councilman has been ordered to stay behind bars until trial.
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 2:53 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - City Councilman Vinny Palermo will remain in jail until trial.

Palermo’s attorney told 6 News that the federal judge’s order came down Friday, two days after the same decision was made about the two retired Omaha police officers and Latino Peace Officers Association chief fundraiser also facing federal charges in the public corruption case.

Investigators allege the city councilman, retired Omaha Police Capt. Richie Gonzalez, retired OPD Officer Johnny Palermo, and fundraiser Jack Olson conspired to defraud nonprofits such as LPOA and PACE — organizations aimed at helping disadvantaged youth in the metro.

From left: Richard Gonzalez, Jack Olson, Johnny Palermo, and Vincent Palermo. The four were...
From left: Richard Gonzalez, Jack Olson, Johnny Palermo, and Vincent Palermo. The four were arrested April 21, 2023, following federal indictments unsealed that same day.(Saunders County Jail)

All four had requested to be released from custody, arguing that they had been under investigation for months and hadn’t fled. Since the councilman was already on federal probation for failing to file his tax returns, his appeal for detention had an extra layer of arguments compared to the other three in custody.

All four individuals have been in jail since they were indicted in late April. The trial has yet to be scheduled.

The recent developments raise questions regarding South Omaha Councilman Palermo’s political future. The city charter allows his removal from his seat on the City Council after three consecutive months of unexcused absences. Based on the timing, Vinny Palermo could be removed from his political position in late July.

Reporter Brian Mastre and Digital Director Gina Dvorak contributed to this report.