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Aurora police officer promoted after passing out drunk at wheel of cop car while working in 2019

Department leadership’s failure to probe incident brought international scrutiny
Aurora police car
Posted at 6:10 PM, Jan 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-11 23:02:40-05

An Aurora police officer who was on duty and drunk when he passed out while driving his department car in 2019 has been promoted.

Nathan Meier was promoted to detective on Dec. 24 after testing for the post in November, department spokesman Joe Moylan said. The position pays $110,399, a $10,000 raise from his previous job.

RELATED: Independent investigation launched after Aurora officer is found passed out drunk

The promotion, first reported by CBS4, comes nearly four years after Meier’s drunken-driving incident, which brought international attention to the department as well as condemnation of how the department’s leadership handled the case. The controversy marred the final months of former Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz’s tenure and prompted his second-in-command to renounce his plans to serve as interim police chief and retire instead.

RELATED: DA says he can't prosecute Aurora officer found passed out drunk over lack of admissible evidence

Last year, Meier participated in a competitive process outlined by the Civil Service Commission, which oversees hiring, firing and promotions in the department, Moylan said.

He was required by the commission’s rules to wait two years after being demoted to try for a promotion.

Read the full story from our partners at The Denver Post.

Aurora Interim Police Chief issued a statement to Denver7, saying, "Based on the current city charter, the department does not have the authority to bypass an employee who has passed all promotion requirements. I met with this employee and spoke frankly about his previous actions and my expectations moving forward, understanding the past cannot be changed. To his credit, the employee has taken extensive steps to turn his life around since the DUI incident occurred over three years ago. He has indicated that the experience saved his life. Our department has a robust employee support and wellness program; however, our members now know that alcohol-related offenses will result in termination."