In one case, the police department is recommending the manager of safety terminate Officer Kenneth Briggle, a 19-year veteran. That recommendation comes after a Weld County judge found Briggle in contempt of court last year and sentenced him to confinement and work release.
Briggle appeared this week for a Denver Police Department “Chief’s Hearing.” Multiple sources say the hearing resulted in a recommendation Briggle be fired in connection with his own legal problems.
A Weld County judge sentenced the 48-year-old Briggle to 37 days of work release in May and June of 2010 after Briggle was found in contempt during divorce proceedings. Weld County Undersheriff Margie Martinez said Briggle was ordered to spend the nights during his sentence in an unlocked county facility and was able to leave during the day.
Contacted by CBS4, Briggle said, “I don’t have any comment. I don’t have anything I want to say to the public about that.”
Briggle’s attorney, David Bruno, also declined comment saying it is a personnel action.
In the second case, Chief Gerry Whitman recommended the dismissal of Det. Jay Estrada, who was assigned to the accident investigation bureau. The department suspended Estrada earlier this year after he apparently mishandled information in a December 2010 hit-and-run case in the Stapleton neighborhood.
The hit-and-run left 27-year-old Laura Gorham badly injured. She was pregnant at the time. Her unborn child did not survive the accident. Police have made no arrests in the case. Sources familiar with the case say Estrada was accused of getting information related to the hit-and-run, not pursuing it, then lying about it when commanding officers questioned him. Estrada has been with the Denver Police Department for 11 years.
The termination recommendations will now go to Denver’s manager of safety who will have 15 days to either uphold the chief’s recommendations and fire the officers, or modify the disciplinary recommendations.
Nick Rogers, president of the Denver Police Protective Association, told CBS4, “I’m familiar with both cases. And once again I believe the department has not made a determination on their employment status based on the facts of the cases. I’m very confident Civil Service will reinstate the Officers.”
Regarding the Estrada case, Rogers said, “I am morally disgusted with this decision due to the difficult circumstances this young officer has had to endure.”
Rogers declined to elaborate on the circumstances he was referring to.