DENVER (CBS4) – The grown daughter of Denver’s Deputy Manager of Safety says her father, who is supposed to be an unbiased decision maker in police disciplinary cases, is a “hater of police” who “hates his job because he has to follow the rules and they’re always skewed towards cops,” according to information unearthed in a CBS4 investigation.
Elena Vigil, the daughter of Denver’s Deputy Manager of Safety Jess Vigil, posted the comments recently on a social media site as she commented on an article on the case of Jessie Hernandez, a 17-year-old shot and killed by Denver police as they say Hernandez was driving a stolen car. Police say they killed Hernandez when she drove the car toward officers.READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: Governor's Office Lifts Face Mask Mandate For Those Who Are Vaccinated
“My dad is actually working this case now,” wrote Elena Vigil in her online post. “He’s the deputy director of safety for Denver and investigates DPD and recommends disciplinary. As a former Chicano rights activist and hater of police he obviously hates his job because he has to follow the rules and they’re always skewed towards cops.”
CBS4 could not reach Elena Vigil for comment. Her father joined the Department of Safety as Deputy Manager of Police Discipline in 2012. He is a former District court and county court judge.
He oversees disciplinary proceedings and makes disciplinary recommendations when Denver police officers break rules and regulations. The Manager of Safety’s Office provides civilian oversight to the police, fire and sheriff departments and on its webpage says the office “is responsible for issuing fair and unbiased discipline decisions on behalf of the Fire, Police and Sheriff Departments.”
“This calls into question all the cases he has ruled on,” said Nick Rogers, President of the Denver Police Protective Association, the union that represents most Denver Police officers. In light of what Elena Vigil wrote about her father, Rogers said “There’s no way he can sit in that position. That information is not made up. Thats real information. Those are his true feelings.”READ MORE: With Face Masks No Longer Mandated For Those Who Are Vaccinated, Business Owners Navigate Uncertainty
Rogers said he and other officers had long suspected Vigil was not making unbiased disciplinary decisions and Elena Vigil’s observations solidify that view.
Responding to the CBS4 Investigation, Jess Vigil issued a statement Thursday saying, “I understand the concern my daughter’s comments have raised and I have admonished her for making erroneous statements for public consumption. I want to be clear that the comments do not reflect my views and I trust that my 20 years of experience and record as a former District and County Court judge, coupled with my three years as Deputy Director of Safety, speaks for itself.”
Stephanie O’Malley, the Director of Safety, also issued a written statement saying, “Upon becoming aware of the message Mr. Vigil’s daughter posted, I took the time to confer with him directly and I am fully satisfied that her statements in no way reflect his sentiments.”
The police union president isn’t buying the statements, saying the comments made by Elena Vigil call into question her father’s integrity. Rogers said he would likely call on Vigil to step down after learning about his daughter’s comments.
CBS4 requested an interview to ask Vigil questions about the origins of his daughter’s comments and observations. Daelene Mix, a spokesperson for the Manager of Safety’s Office turned down that request.MORE NEWS: COVID In Colorado: Excitement Builds As Children Ages 12-15 Begin To Get Pfizer Vaccine