LETTERS: Politics got in the way of a fair Civil Service Commission process

Editor: In a not shocking twist, politics got in the way of the right decision last night at Aurora City Council.

There was a motion on the floor to remove a recent appointee to the Civil Service Commission because council discovered after the appointment that he was terminated from his last job with the Denver Fire Department. He had put “Retired” on his application and verbally indicated during his interview that he was retired.

Some on council tried to make this a question of him being unjustly fired from DFD or argue about the semantics of the word retired. Others tried to say we couldn’t base this off “media reports”, despite the fact that the termination letter is public.

The simple fact remains this individual lied on his application, an infraction that would lead to termination for a regular city employee.

What message does it send to city employees that this individual is held to a different standard for the simple fact he is a political appointee?

Does racism exist? Could his firing have been unjust? Should we all have the opportunity for a second chance? Yes, yes and yes.

However, this applicant chose to conceal his termination by listing himself as retired. Rather than use his opportunity and platform to discuss the circumstances around his termination and talk about the lessons he learned from that experience, he chose to deceive others to put himself into a position of power.

At the end of the day, I am disappointed I didn’t do more research before voting to place this individual on the Civil Service Commission, the very body that makes disciplinary decisions for our firefighters and police officers. All I can say is “I’m sorry” to our first responders that the civil service process may now be tainted.

To Aurora voters, I’ll do a better job next time.

— Aurora City Councilmember Curtis Gardner

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6 months ago

Kudos to you councilmember, for owning your oversight and attempting to correct the mistake. As well as the others who fought alongside you for removal. And SHAME on Johnston, Hiltz, Murillo, Coombs, Marcano, and Lawson for playing the race card and turning a blind eye.

Aren’t these the same hypocrites seemingly obsessed with reforming campaign contributions with their so-called “ethics” ordinance? Ethics indeed.

Last edited 6 months ago by FeelingsAreNotFacts
Karen Smith
Karen Smith
6 months ago

Sure. Blame those five and don’t hold the entire council accountable for not doing their research and due diligence in the first place. The whole damn council looks stupid for letting this happen. Garder is at least owning that.

Don Black
Don Black
6 months ago

I have to respect the Council person’s honesty

6 months ago

Harold Johnson has played the race card for his whole career at the Denver Fire Department until he was finally terminated for cause. Ask any Denver Fire Department member who has been around awhile. Now he has done it one more time with our Socialist and neo-socialist members. They bought it. I get it. It works in the current climate of our City.

To me the answer is to eliminate the $947,000 a year Civil Service Commission. There must be a better and cheaper way to hire, and handle disputes with our Fire and Police Departments. That’s all they really do. Again, is that worth the million dollars a year?