WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Former Burlington Firefighter Arrested

Sep 7, 2019

The Burlington Police Department arrested Andrew Nebergall, 45, of West Burlington and charged him with one count of enticing a minor under the age of 16 for a sexual purpose or illegal act. Nebergall, who was a member of the Burlington Fire Department, resigned from his job prior to his arrest.

Fire Chief Matt Trexel said in an email to Tri States Public Radio that his department learned of the allegations against Nebergall in mid-August.

“When we became aware of the allegations, we immediately placed him on administrative leave,” said Trexel. “He was off-duty on 8/16 and 8/17, so we met with him when he reported to work on 8/18 and he was placed on administrative leave. Once we were aware of the allegations he did not work another shift/minute at the FD.”

Trexel said the BFD launched its own investigation, separate from the investigation by the Burlington Police Department. He said it included a formal complaint from the father of Nebergall’s alleged victim.

Trexel said a hearing was scheduled for September 4 but it was cancelled after Nebergall resigned. Trexel said Nebergall was taken into custody after submitting his resignation.

Nebergall joined the Burlington Fire Department in 2014.

The Burlington Hawkeye reporteds that Nebergall was convicted in 1998 of sexual exploitation of a minor for downloading child pornography. 

Trexel said Nebergall’s conviction did not show up on a pre-employment background check because it had been expunged from his record. Trexel said Nebergall mentioned it during the hiring process without providing details as to what the conviction entailed.

“A background check is much more than just the criminal history,” said Trexel in his email to TSPR. “The references are checked, the Police Department conducts a neighborhood canvass where the applicant lives, and we check with current and previous employers. At the time of his application, he was certified as a paramedic by the state of Iowa and was working for 2 agencies as a paramedic. From what we could see, officially, is that he had no criminal record for the previous 16-plus years, he had been employed as a paramedic on a transporting ambulance service for 3-plus years, worked in the emergency room of a local hospital for over 10 years, and was also a volunteer with a local fire department for 5 years. His personal references included a deputy sheriff and a police officer."