AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — The attorney for Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson said that she has no intention of stepping down, despite media reports that she may resign.
The attorney, Paula Greisen, said Wilson was traveling for a vacation to Mexico when Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly called Monday and suggested she should resign. Wilson told Twombly she had no intention of doing so, according to her attorney.
Greisen said the chief believes there is a concerted effort by members of the new Aurora City Council to force the chief and her deputy chief out, “since she has done what the court ordered her to do: reform the police department, get rid of racism.”
Greisen also represents Deputy Chief Darin Parker.
The department entered into a consent decree in November with the Attorney General’s Office after they found Aurora had a pattern of racial discrimination toward minority residents.
Since Wilson took over two years ago, 26 officers have been fired, resigned or retired because of misconduct, and more than 170 officers have left the department. A union for Aurora police officers had an overwhelming no-confidence vote, saying morale is terrible.
Last Friday, Wilson’s attorney said she was assured by the city attorney that the chief’s job was not in jeopardy, despite rumors otherwise. Then the call from Twombly came on Monday, saying they should discuss the chief’s exit strategy.
Still, Greisen said reports that Wilson is negotiating her resignation are false. But she didn’t say if Wilson would fight to keep her job because she knows the city manager can fire her if he wants to. Her focus now is to stay and keep implementing reform efforts mandated under the consent decree.
Below is a statement from the City of Aurora on the situation:
“We are aware of the news coverage regarding Chief Wilson, but it remains wholly improper for us to engage in external, speculative conversations on any personnel matters. As we previously stated, we are focused on comprehensive public safety changes that are in the best interests of our community and employees.”Ryan Luby, spokesperson for the City of Aurora