Lowell PD chief remains off the job during MSP probe

Lowell Police Chief Steve Bukala
Lowell Police Chief Steve Bukala. (2016 file)


LOWELL, Mich. (WOOD) — Did a war of words posted over social media have anything to do with the suspension and investigation into a West Michigan police chief?

Lowell Police Chief Steve Bukala is suspended as Michigan State Police investigate “credible” information about possible misconduct regarding an internal personnel matter, according to Lowell City Manager Mike Burns.

Both Burns and state police declined to give any details on the information that prompted the investigation.

The only hint of recent trouble for are in court files that reveal accusations the chief made against his ex-wife’s husband. It’s a personal protection order request filed by Bukala in March of 2016.

In the request, Bukala claims in 2014 he filed another PPO against the ex-wife’s husband over attempts to contact his employer, the City of Lowell, to get the chief disciplined or fired.

Bukala wrote the dispute with his ex-wife’s husband involved a custody battle over the daughter he has with his ex-wife.

More recently, Bukala claimed the ex-wife’s husband has posted accusation against him on the Lowell City Facebook page, accusing the chief of using his badge and position to bully her into giving up the custody battle.

But we didn’t find any court records that would indicate the ex-husband’s social media post have anything to do with the current investigation.

Contacted earlier in the day, Bukala referred 24 Hour News 8 to his attorney, who did not return a call.

State police are running the probe, but won’t reveal any specifics.

Members of the Lowell City Council contacted by 24 Hour News 8 say they haven’t received any details regarding the investigation.

At this point, there’s no time table as to when the investigation may wrap up and reveal what’s going on.