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Fired Denver officer caught speeding at 143 mph gets job back

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Denver Police badge

DENVER — Denver’s manager of safety is appealing a decision to give a fired police officer his job back.

The officer was fired when he was pulled over for going 143 mph in a 55-mph zone. Derrick Saunders admitted to drinking earlier in the night when a Colorado State trooper stopped him on Gun Club Rd. in Arapahoe County.

The incident happened on June 17, 2010 while Saunders was off-duty. He ended up pleading guilty to impaired and reckless driving.

Manager of Safety Alex Martinez was shocked the police officer would drive so dangerously while impaired. 

Saunders appealed his firing, and won in a decision handed down by the Civil Service Commission Tuesday.

According to the report hearing officers said the firing didn’t match discipline in even more severe cases, and it didn’t take into consideration personal traumas Saunders had in his personal life at the time.

Martinez disagrees. “The opinion of hearing officers that driving 88 miles per hour over the speed limit while under the influence of alcohol does not warrant termination deprives the Manager of the authority to impose reasonable discipline and disrespects the efforts of the many honorable law-abiding Denver Police Officers to maintain high standards of professionalism,” he says.