State finds police fault in Lehner drowning

A state investigation into the drowning of Buffalo police diver Craig Lehner identified numerous problems with the policies and procedures of the city’s Underwater Recovery Unit.

The report by the Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau of the state Labor Department concluded that Lehner drowned last October after his tether line became snagged on a boulder about 25 feet under water.

The safety bureau faulted the police department on a number of fronts, including the inadequate training and equipping of Lehner. The findings mirror previous reporting by Investigative Post, which determined Lehner was not sufficiently trained or equipped to drive in the rapid currents of the Niagara River.

Lehner’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.