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Officer Fired Over Hit & Run Investigation Could Get Job Back

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Det. Jay Estrada (credit: CBS)

Det. Jay Estrada (credit: CBS)

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Investigator Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver police detective fired over what he did while investigating the hit-and-run of a pregnant woman is close to getting his job back.

In 2010 a car hit Laurie Gorham as she crossed a street in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood. Gorham, who was 27 at the time, was hurt and her unborn child died.

There is now a sign at the intersection that says “Please Drive Safely – In Memory of Edison Sherlock,” the name of Gorham’s unborn child.

The hit-and-run driver and vehicle have never been found.

Detective Jay Estrada was one of the investigators on the case. He allegedly received a tip and told his supervisor that he hadn’t received it. He was fired in June 2011 for allegedly making misleading and inaccurate statements but he has now been ordered reinstated by a city appeal panel.

There was an outpouring of sympathy at the time of the accident. Flowers and children’s toys turned the intersection of 29th and Central Park Boulevard into a makeshift shrine.

Gorham has since recovered from the accident.

According to the decision, Estrada will receive a 16 day suspension and a fine. He will get his job back, as well as back pay, his seniority and his benefits.

It’s just one step in a long process. It was a three-member panel of hearing officers, under contract by the Denver Civil Service Commission, that heard the case. The city of Denver will now most likely appeal the case to the full Civil Service Commission.

Estrada’s lawyer and the police union said are happy about the decision, but Denver Manager of Safety Alex Martinez isn’t. He wrote: “We disagree with their ruling in the Estrada case and have asked the City Attorney’s Office to appeal the decision.”

“We do not tolerate deceptive conduct and we will continue to impose appropriate discipline,” Martinez wrote.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Estrada was only to receive a 2 day suspension.

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