Aurora P.D. investigates itself over cigar room

Posted at 11:21 PM, Sep 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-22 01:21:25-04

Aurora Police supervisors are under investigation, and Internal Affairs is investigating one of its own.

Sources told 7NEWS that three lieutenants and up to a dozen sergeants are under investigation for creating a "cigar room" to hang out in while on-duty. The Aurora Sentinel first reported the cigar room investigation on Monday afternoon.

One sergeant under investigation was tipped off by internal affairs. That sergeant then retired early, while Internal Affairs began investigating itself, sources told Call7 Investigator John Ferrugia.

The "cigar room" was created inside an Aurora Police workspace inside the Fleet Maintenance facility at Potomac Street and Ellsworth Avenue, near Interstate 225 and Alameda Avenue.

Sources told Ferrugia that a surveillance camera was set up outside the facility to catch the officers hanging out while on duty.

At least two of the officers involved are Aurora Theater shooting heroes. They both arrived on scene within 10 minutes, and one of them received a life-saving award.

Aurora City Councilwoman Marsha Berzins told 7NEWS that she did not know the specifics of the investigation until we told her. The fleet maintenance building is in her district. She said she also alerted other councilmembers, who also did not know the specifics. Earlier Monday, other councilmembers told the Aurora Sentinel they did not know the details.

Berzins said she is not surprised that councilmembers are being kept in the dark.

However, Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz provided 7NEWS an email that he sent city council on June 17 and again today.

Dear Councilmembers,

The APD has undertaken a significant and serious investigation involving a number of supervisors assigned to patrol.

Though I am not at liberty to disclose specifics, the basics of the investigation involve allegations of neglect of duty.

Of the group of supervisors under investigation, at least two of the accused employees, for now, will be placed on administrative reassignment to an office position. 

Metz said he could not comment beyond the email because it is an internal investigation.