By Brian Maass

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Both Aurora’s Interim Police Chief and City Manager acknowledged Thursday that the police department mishandled the case of Aurora Police Officer Nate Meier, who was found drunk while on duty and at the wheel of an Aurora police vehicle last March. But the department deemed it a medical situation and Meier was never arrested or charged with DUI.

Meier was demoted but remains with the department.

Nathan Meier

Nathan Meier (credit: CBS)

“That case in my opinion should have been handled as a DUI,” said Interim Chief Vanessa Wilson. “If that was a regular citizen, a DUI investigation would have occurred, in my opinion.”

Wilson’s comments came the day after 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler told CBS4 he could not charge Meier with a DUI because of the way the Aurora Police Department mishandled the case.

WATCH: DA George Brauchler Explains Why He Can’t File DUI Charges Against Aurora Officer Nathan Meier

“I think these guys are looking out for their colleague, that’s what I think they’re doing,“ commented Brauchler.

(credit: CBS)

The first officer on the Meier scene last March was Deputy Chief Paul O’Keefe. He acknowledged smelling alcohol on Meier but decided to treat the case as a medical situation, not a DUI. So Meier was transported to a hospital. An internal investigation later revealed Meier’s blood alcohol level was more than five times the legal limit for DUI and he admitted drinking to the point of impairment.

On Thursday, Wilson announced she had launched an internal affairs investigation into O’Keefe’s decision making.

“I think this was a decision O’Keefe felt was medical and I need to get into why he felt that way.”

Within hours, O‘Keefe announced he was immediately retiring, effectively scuttling the internal affairs investigation.

“This has destroyed our reputation,” said Wilson.

Vanessa Wilson

Vanessa Wilson (credit: CBS)

She said Aurora officers have suffered abuse as a result of the case, having insults hurled at them and being called drunks by citizens. She said she was taking steps to hopefully prevent a repeat of the Meier case.

The interim chief said in similar situations in the future, if there is any indication of drug or alcohol use by an officer, a criminal investigation will start before any administrative decisions are made and the chief will be notified.

She said other police agencies will be asked to come in and evaluate the Aurora police investigation of their own officers, to make sure the investigation is done properly.

Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly said Thursday of the Meier case, ”We got it wrong.”

Twombly said, “There were questionable decisions made at the scene that failed our residents, failed our many hard-working police officers, and failed our city.”

Brian Maass

Comments (13)
  1. Haywood Jablomey says:

    And they wonder why we call them “PIGS”….

  2. Bob says:

    Sounds to me like a lack of training & oversight… so typical of the legal industry. Had that Wilson been doing her job & in control of the department, these shenanigans would have probably never been attempted. Sure glad I don’t live in Aurora.

  3. Curtis Sliwa says:

    Hey P ker it. An APD detective stole 40G from the taxpayers and is still spending it…..the corrupt APD brass just said “Ahhhh well the FBI are responsible”. They protect each other. It is the blue silence, cameras off or turned away, lie.

  4. GlobSnark says:

    That’s nothing. I was arrested for DUI even though I blew a 0.00 on the breathalyzer and showed no results of drugs of abuse. Apparently, taking prescription antidepressants as prescribed are illegal in some Colorado locales.

  5. p kerit says:

    Why cant it be treated as a DUI RIGHT NOW!!!

  6. Harry Callahan SFPD says:

    You had an APD cop who blew away a guy and cost the city a million in the civil suit. He killed a bathrobe clad home owner a few years later and the figure for the buy-off civil suit is rumored to be 7 million. APD is full of garbage cops. All the APD cops covered up this one from Metz to O’keefe to the losers hiding the camera shots. Totally crooked. They all stick together to protect their own.

  7. Mike says:

    This taught this cop nothing! Wait a couple of years, people will forget and he will be back on the streets patrolling. Being a cop is stressful, but this guys got bigger issues if he is over 5X the legal limit. PTSD? Marital issues? This is not normal behavior to drink that much 1st thing in the morning AND go to work. Aurora PD fubared this one sky high.

  8. paulr03 says:

    5x’s legal limit? .08×5=.40! The cop would have been comatose.

    1. Eddie Baby says:

      That actually does sound like a medical situation, but it can be both a DUI and a medical situation.

  9. Shaun M Roberts says:

    this is BS! if it was me i woudla been in jail, fines, community service, no license, lost job. AH no, this dudes a cop. MF can break the laws he’s supposed to enforce, and get get off scott free. in this case, and all others, WHOS gonna POLICE the POLICE? nuts

  10. Harry Callahan SFPD says:

    “We got it wrong”. Stop lying. Cops protect cops. Total cover-up. It took a CBS station in Denver to uncover this typical garbage of blue silence. If nobody was around they would have loaded him in the first scene patrol car and gave him first class service to his bed. O’keefe is like Metz: a pathetic joke. Cameras looking down, most shut off, no blood pull, blatant 5 times drunk etc.. the D.A. must be going crazy. A cop stole 40G in lied service and got off….he’s still spending it!!!!! Metz at his finest. Anybody who supports the blue is out of their mind, they ALL LIE!

  11. Carlos Pedoza says:

    So you covered up the dui charge but why is this piece of fecal matter still employed? I guess it shows what values and ethics the Aurora Police Department use and stand by. All of you should be ashamed. But to have any shame in the first place it would take ethics. No wonder people loathe the police

  12. Vince says:

    And it continues to be handled disgracefully. Why wasn’t O’Keefe inviestgated sooner? The entire APD is corrupt and disgusting. I have nothing but contempt for the department and I loyally support those in blue.

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