AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman is newly named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit against the city and accused of retaliating against some of the people who filed the suit, according to an amended complaint filed in federal court this week.
“Mayor Coffman called our clients and essentially tried to bully them,” said Andy McNulty, the attorney involved in the case.
The mayor is accused of calling Lindsay Minter and Pastor Thomas Mayes, two community activists who also sit on Aurora’s police community task force, and asking them to take their names off the lawsuit or to remove themselves from the task force because their presence on both was a conflict of interest.
The original lawsuit alleges the Aurora Police Department used excessive tactics when attempting to disperse a crowd during a summer vigil for Elijah McClain.
Minter said she was caught in a cloud of pepper spray.
“He wanted me to either take my name off the lawsuit or resign from the task force,” said Minter. “He even threatened to get the city attorney involved.”
“I don’t relinquish my rights to be treated fairly, and my civil rights must stay intact, regardless of what committee I’m on,” said Mayes, who declined to remove himself from either thing.
McNulty called Coffman’s actions a violation of the First Amendment.
“You’re allowed to sue a city. You’re allowed to complain about mistreatment, and you’re allowed to stay on a civilian oversight task force even when you do so,” he said.
The city declined to comment and advised the FOX31 Problem Solvers that the mayor would be unable to comment due to the legal action against him.
“Since there is an active lawsuit, we will not be able to provide comment,” said Michael Bryant, a spokesperson for the City of Aurora.