AURORA — A former U.S. attorney will conduct an independent review of the case of a suburban Denver officer who was found intoxicated and unconscious in his police car.
Former U.S. attorney John Walsh will conduct the review into the case of Aurora Police Officer Nathan Meier, The Sentinel reported.
Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly announced the review Monday and said Walsh was chosen because of his credibility and objectivity.
“He’s independent, and that was really important,” Twombly said of Walsh, who campaigned for a U.S. Senate seat as a Democrat until he dropped out the race in September.
Walsh’s investigation will begin immediately and it will be made public after its completion, Twombly said.
A person who answered the phone at the Aurora Police Department on Wednesday said Meier has decided to not speak publicly about the case. It was not clear whether he has an attorney representing him.
Meier told the police department he had been drinking vodka while he was on duty March 29, police documents said.
Emergency personnel found Meier unresponsive in his stalled, unmarked police car in the middle of a street near Buckley Air Force base, records said.
The car was running and Meier had his duty weapon with him when firefighters broke a passenger window to reach Meier when he did not respond to repeated knocking, records said.
Meier was not fired and remains on the job, although he was demoted, the newspaper reported.
A DUI investigation was not performed because officers were unsure of Meier’s health condition at the time, despite multiple officers reporting they had smelled alcohol, police documents said.
Walsh’s investigation does not prevent the local district attorney’s office from conducting its own investigation.
“The DA can certainly do whatever he’s going to do, but we don’t have any control at what he’ll look at,” Twombly said. “We want the best review that we can control.”
Newly released body camera footage shows the scene around an Aurora police officer who, in March, was found passed out drunk at the wheel of an unmarked car.