AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – The independent consultant hired by the city of Aurora to investigate the death of Elijah McClain says his abrupt firing unfairly assumed that his law enforcement background would prevent him from being unbiased.
“It’s disappointing in the fact that they didn’t take into account our history and our training and also more importantly, our positions over the years in working with both civilian oversight, working with Department of Justice monitoring teams, working in cases where we have found officers and municipalities to be deficient in certain ways,” Eric Daigle said.
Daigle, who runs Daigle Law Group, worked as a police officer for the Connecticut State Police between 1992 and 2002, according to his website.
“What they’re saying to me is that they didn’t think I would do a fair and equitable and ethical investigation,” said Daigle. “That’s a direct attack on 30 years of work experience on my firm.”
The city of Aurora said they terminated Daigle’s contract “because of the concerns expressed about the independence of the investigator and his previous relationships with law enforcement.”
Daigle said he understands and appreciates that city leaders might want a group of diverse investigators to look at the case, but he feels that the city’s actions are “slightly discriminatory” toward his organization because the decision was made based on one part of his lengthy career.
“If a doctor causes a death, who are you going to bring in to investigate the actions of a doctor? If there’s an injury or damage at a construction site with a worker, who are you going to bring in to investigate that? And solely by saying anybody in this country is not independent because they’ve worked a job or haven’t worked a job is very disappointing,” said Daigle.
Daigle said he was about to conduct additional interviews in the case after collecting evidence.
“We were probably about halfway through the investigation at the time the contract was canceled. We were not at the point of making findings,” he said.
The City of Aurora is now discussing other options.