Barry County Prosecuting Attorney Julie Nakfoor-Pratt said that Steven Bukala, City of Lowell police chief, today entered a plea to willful neglect of duty by a police officer in Allegan District Court, a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of one year in jail. The remaining charges, all misdemeanors carrying lesser penalties, are being dismissed.
The prosecution requested probation, and that Bukala receive and benefit from retraining in the proper use of the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN).
“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 said.
Also sentenced today, Bukula received a total of $1,425 in fees and fines and as part of the sentence, must also complete LEIN re-training within 90 days.
Nakfoor Pratt was appointed special prosecutor for the Kent County prosecutor, who recused himself due to a conflict.