Jury finds former Aurora officer guilty of official misconduct; he receives suspended sentence

Posted at 4:52 PM, Jul 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-30 18:54:30-04

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. – A former Aurora Police Department lieutenant pleaded guilty Friday to one count of official misconduct for trying to use the National Crime Information Center database to steal an identity his girlfriend could use to get a job.

Leland Silver, 47, received a 30-day suspended sentence and 12 months of probation, meaning he will not spend time in jail unless he violates his probation, after a jury found him guilty of first-degree official misconduct, a class 2 misdemeanor.

Silver’s ex-girlfriend reported the conduct that eventually led to the charge in April 2017. According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Silver accessed criminal justice information database to try and find an identity his then-girlfriend could use to find a job, as she was having trouble passing criminal background checks.

He texted the woman someone else’s driver’s license information and Social Security number, though it’s unclear if she ever used the information. But accessing such databases is a crime and violation of police rules, hence the charge.

“This defendant abused his power,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Amy Ferrin said in court.. “He put an innocent person — who trusts in the police — at risk of being the victim of identity theft.  When a police officer misbehaves, it tarnishes the reputation of the entire profession.  He should never again be able to work as a public servant.” 

Silver will lose his Colorado peace officer certification as a result of his conviction. He’d already been fired by the Aurora Police Department sometime after a subsequent October 2017 arrest for driving under the influence, to which he pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired last December and saw other, more-serious charges dismissed.