Michael David Boyle (January 19, 1944 – September 13, 2021) was a Democratic politician from Nebraska who served as mayor of Omaha and later as a member of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners. He was a lawyer in private practice in Omaha for over 30 years.
|Member of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners from the 1st district|
September 30, 1997 – September 12, 2021
|Preceded by||Bernice Labedz|
|40th Mayor of Omaha, Nebraska|
June 1981 – January 1987
|Preceded by||Al Veys|
|Succeeded by||Stephen Tomasek, Jr.|
Michael David Boyle
January 19, 1944
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||September 13, 2021 (aged 77)|
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
(m. 1965; died 2019)
|Alma mater||Creighton University (B.A.)|
Creighton University School of Law (J.D.)
Educated in Catholic schools in Omaha, Boyle graduated from Creighton University in 1973 with a degree in economics and management from the Business Administration School. He graduated from the Creighton University School of Law in 1977.
Mike married Anne Howell on April 24, 1965, at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha. They had five children and 18 grandchildren. Anne Boyle was the first woman elected in the 130-year history of the Nebraska Public Service Commission. She was re-elected in 2008, and was a former chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party. She led the Bill Clinton for President campaign in Nebraska and the re-election campaign as well. Anne Boyle died in 2019 after suffering a stroke.
In October 1986, a recall campaign was initiated against Boyle after a controversial dismissal of the Omaha Chief of Police. In October 1985, police lieutenant Tony Infantino wrote a memo titled "Mission Impossible," describing a plan to target and surveil the mayor's brother-in-law, John Howell, and attempt to arrest him on suspicion of drunken driving. This was meant to provide an opportunity for Boyle to interfere with the criminal justice process.
The arrest of the mayor's brother-in-law was carried out, and an investigation by Omaha Public Safety Director Keith Lant followed. Lant held that there was both an improper plot and subsequent cover-up, and demanded that Omaha Chief of Police Robert C. Wadman discipline the involved officers. Chief Wadman refused Lant's orders to co-sign the disciplinary notices based on his personal beliefs, despite the results of polygraph examinations of the command officers. Lant proceeded to personally issue the disciplinary notices against the officers, and recommended the dismissal of Wadman for insubordination.
The Personnel Board of the City of Omaha, a panel of citizens, unanimously approved Lant's disciplinary notices and Wadman's dismissal. The Douglas County District Court upheld the disciplinary notices, but overturned Wadman's dismissal by the Personnel Board. The overturned dismissal was appealed by a citizen to the Supreme Court of Nebraska, which reversed the District Court's decision and found the Personnel Board's order to dismiss Robert Wadman to be legal.
Supporters of the recall effort obtained 34,816 signatures on recall petitions, significantly more than the 19,669 signatures needed to force a recall election. The recall election was held in January 1987, and drew an exceptionally large turnout of over 98,000 voters, 56.4 percent of those registered. Boyle was removed from office as a result of the election, in which the vote was 56 percent for his recall and 44 percent for his retention.
In 1989, Boyle ran for re-election as mayor. He finished first out of a field of six in the primary, though he lost to P.J. Morgan, a former State Senator, in the general election. In 1990, Boyle ran for governor. He lost the Democratic primary by less than one vote per precinct Statewide. Ben Nelson was nominated and served two terms as governor before being elected a United States senator.
In March 2021, Boyle was diagnosed with lung cancer and began treatment. On September 12, 2021, he suffered complications of diabetes that required him to be hospitalized. He died on September 13, 2021, at the age of 77.
- "Anne Boyle, former Public Service Commissioner, dies at 76". www.omaha.com. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- Larson and Cottrell. (1997) The Gate City: A history of Omaha. University of Nebraska Press. pg. 315.
- "04/21/89 ROBERT C. WADMAN v. CITY OMAHA ET AL". ne.findacase.com. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
- "Omaha`s Mayor Is Recalled". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
- "Omaha Seeks Mayor After Ouster". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
- "'A life of service': Former Omaha Mayor Mike Boyle dies at 77". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Bernice R. Koziol Labedz (1919-2008) - Find A..." Findagrave.com. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
- McKnight, Mike. "Former Omaha Mayor, current County Commissioner Mike Boyle passes away." WOWT. September 13, 2021.