Officials release details leading to termination of Bardstown Police Officer Nick Houck

Officials release details leading to termination of Bardstown Police Officer Nick Houck
Crystal Rogers (Source: Family photo via Nelson County Sheriff's Office)
Crystal Rogers (Source: Family photo via Nelson County Sheriff's Office)
Former officer Nick Houck (Source: Bardstown Police Department)
Former officer Nick Houck (Source: Bardstown Police Department)
Brooks Houck (Source: James Thomas/WAVE 3 News)
Brooks Houck (Source: James Thomas/WAVE 3 News)

BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) - A Bardstown Police officer is off the force after a failed polygraph test, and claims that he interfered with and did not fully cooperate with the investigation into Crystal Rogers' disappearance, who has been missing since early July.

On Oct. 16, Rogers' boyfriend, Brooks Houck, was named as a suspect in her disappearance and his brother, Nick Houck, was terminated from the Bardstown Police Department (BPD).

Despite this, investigators have not charged anyone in relation to the case.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Nelson Co. sheriff: One Houck brother a suspect in Crystal Rogers' disappearance, likely death]

Friday, WAVE 3 News obtained almost 200 pages of documents detailing the exact reasons for Houck's firing.

Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin gave Nick Houck a suspension letter on Sept. 9, calling for his eventual termination.

In the letter, the chief alleged Houck violated the City of Bardstown Police code of conduct, Bardstown Personnel Policies and the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council Code of Ethics & Canon of Ethics.

He charged Houck with lying or concealing material information, immoral or improper conduct, insubordination and official misconduct - a criminal charge which Houck never actually faced.

A hearing was held Oct. 15 in the mayor's office to determine if Nick Houck should be fired. During the closed hearing, Nelson County Sheriff's Office Detective Jonathan Snow and Chief McCubbin were questioned by a representative of the city and a representative of Houck.

Det. Snow gave sworn testimony that Nick called his brother Brooks in the middle of a police interview. Video of that interview shows Brooks answering the phone and saying "If you want me to leave, I will."

However, Brooks stayed, and after hanging up the phone said Nick told him to stay and give a statement, but not to let detectives "beat him to death with it."

Snow said he called Nick the next day asking for an interview, but he refused to talk.

When Chief McCubbin heard of this, he said he was very troubled. He talked to Nick and told him to cooperate with the investigation.

Nick refused further, maintaining he had nothing to say to help detectives. But that wasn't his place to do so, according to Chief McCubbin.

"We have to let that agency determine that because we don't know what they have and what they don't have," he said during the hearing.

Police officers "have an oath, have a duty to cooperate," McCubbin added. He went on to say that Nick had an "ultimate disregard" for the NCSO investigation.

"It was almost as if they had to beg a police officer to cooperate," McCubbin said. "That's not acceptable."

The documents revealed Nick Houck testified before a grand jury in early July, raising suspicions that he was involved in the disappearance of Rogers. That same day, his police cruiser was confiscated as part of the NCSO investigation.

Nick was interviewed by Kentucky State Police about a week later.

After watching parts of that interview during the hearing, both Det. Snow and Chief McCubbin said Nick seemed to be withholding information.

Eventually, the FBI administered a polygraph test, which they said Nick failed.

Chief McCubbin was notified of the results by an FBI agent who told him it raised "grave concerns."

During the hearing, the chief called for Nick's termination, saying his actions caused a stain of dishonor on himself, on the police department, and on the city as a whole.

"Nick just does not need to be a police officer," McCubbin said. "He has violated everything we stand for in law enforcement."

The Mayor of Bardstown and the hearing officer agreed, and Nick was fired the next day.

Rogers' family holds out hope that she will be found, despite officials saying they believe her to be dead.

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