Lowell police chief enters plea deal

The Lowell Police Chief took a plea deal in a criminal case.

LOWELL, MICH. - Lowell's police chief is taking a plea deal, in a criminal case he faced, for misusing a law enforcement computer system.

Chief Steven Bukala entered a plea Wednesday Aug. 30  in Allegan County, to a misdemeanor charge of willful neglect of duty by a public officer carrying a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors are dropping several other charges he was facing.Bukala was accused of unauthorized use of a computer system available to police across the state.

Prosecutors are requesting he be sentenced to probation.Bukala will also have to take special training on proper use of the law enforcement computer network. 

“I wanted to ensure that Chief Bukala takes responsibility for what he did without losing his ability to work as a police officer. From this point on, whether Chief Bukala succeeds in maintaining his career and improving his integrity is up to him.” Nakfoor Pratt was appointed Special Prosecutor for the Kent County Prosecutor, who had to recuse himself due to a conflict.

Bukala was also sentenced and received a $1,000.00 fine and $425.00 in fees for a total of $1,425.00. As part of the sentence he must also complete a LEIN re-training within 90 days

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