AURORA | Art Acevedo is being considered to lead the Aurora Police Department on an interim basis, and has been named as a consultant to help the city implement public safety reforms, according to a city spokesman.
Sources close to the matter previously told The Sentinel that Acevedo was being considered for the job, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
“We would certainly welcome someone of Art Acevedo’s caliber to lead the Aurora Police Department,” city spokesman Ryan Luby wrote Monday in a statement.
“He recently began discussions with city management about assisting us with the consent decree. During the discussions we asked him if he would consider applying for our interim police chief position. He has not committed to the job until he has had the opportunity to meet with city officials.”
Dan Oates — who previously served as chief between 2005 and 2014 — returned to lead the department on an interim basis after Vanessa Wilson was fired earlier this year.
While Oates’ contract with the city terminates at the end of November, the city previously said in a statement that he had “agreed to extend his service as the interim chief here, as needed.” A job opening for interim chief was posted earlier this month with a salary range of $192,000-$250,000. Wilson was salaried at $215,000.
Acevedo formerly led the police departments of Austin, Houston and, most recently, Miami. During that time, the 36-year law enforcement officer cultivated a reputation of openness to reform and working collaboratively with troubled police departments.
Acevedo made national headlines in June 2020 in Houston when he marched with Black Lives Matter protesters during a series of protests across the nation after the death of George Floyd.
Acevedo was fired by Miami city officials last year and filed a federal lawsuit in January, claiming protection as a whistleblower. The lawsuit was filed against Miami City Manager Arthur Noriega and city lawmakers Joe Carollo, Alex Díaz de la Portilla and Manolo Reyes, according to a report by CNN.
He also faced criticism from the Miami police union for his stance on police ethics and reform, according to local news reports, similar to the criticism directed at Wilson by Aurora’s police unions and critics on city council. An attorney for Wilson recently announced she would file a wrongful termination lawsuit against the City of Aurora.
Sources told The Sentinel that Acevedo came to Aurora to meet with the City Council. An item titled “police chief recruitment” was included on the agenda for an executive session scheduled to come before the group’s Monday night meeting.