AURORA, Colo. – Another Aurora Police Department officer has been charged with official misconduct—the second this week, though the department says the cases are unrelated.
George Brauchler, the district attorney for Colorado’s 18th Judicial District, charged Aurora Officer Lt. Leland Anthony Silver on Wednesday with one count of first-degree official misconduct—a class 2 misdemeanor. The charge came after an investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
It’s unclear exactly what led to the charge, as the complaint from Brauchler only says that Silver “unlawfully and knowingly committed an act relating to his office but constituting an unauthorized exercise of his official function or violated a statute or lawfully adopted rule or regulation relating to his office” with the intent to “obtain a benefit for any person or maliciously cause harm to another.”
Silver was issued a criminal summons in the case on Friday.
He has been with the Aurora Police Department for approximately 15 years, the department said.
It said that he was placed on a non-enforcement assignment pending the outcome of an internal investigation relating to the charge.
Another Aurora officer, Matthew Ewert, was arrested earlier this week on two official misconduct charges, in addition to three other felonies. He is accused of interfering in a weapons case involving his juvenile nephew, and having unlawfully used his title as a police officer to gain access to police records in the case, as well as having moved a gun that was evidence in the case.
Ewert has been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of his criminal case, the department said.
The department said Friday that the two cases are unrelated, and Chief Nick Metz issued Denver7 a lengthy statement regarding the allegations against his two officers:
“In the past few days two employees of the Aurora Police Department have been placed in the spotlight because of allegations of serious misconduct. These incidents are unrelated and entirely coincidental. The Aurora Police Department is comprised of nearly 1,000 men and women who work tirelessly to keep our community safe. Who handle thousands of calls each year with the highest degree of ethical professionalism.
“In a time where police perception is crucial, I want to reassure the public that matters such as these are seriously and thoroughly investigated. And in those rare situations where our officers actually cross that ethical line, they are held accountable to their actions.
“The Aurora Police Department will not tolerate misconduct and there are mechanisms in place which aim to reaffirm a culture of accountability. Significant changes to our Internal Affairs Bureau, updated policies regarding the handling of complaints, the creation of an Independent Review Board (Comprised of Aurora Residents), Community Policing Advisory Team, and a Use of Force Review Board, are examples of implemented and transparent accountability strategies.
“The residents of Aurora are fortunate to be served by a law enforcement agency that practices everyday the culture of "doing things right".
“I could not be more proud of the sacrifice and professionalism that the women and men of the Aurora Police Department exhibit every single day.”
A mugshot of Silver was not available because he was not arrested in the case.