AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — A high-ranking Aurora Police officer facing termination decided to retire Tuesday afternoon. The decision of Lt. Martin Garland to retire “in lieu of termination,” according to a department spokesperson, came four weeks after the Problem Solvers began asking about his status.
Aurora Police confirm Garland was placed on paid leave Dec. 1, just hours after FOX31 made inquires, but more than five weeks after he became the focus of an internal affairs investigation.
Once Garland was placed on paid administrative leave, he could no longer drive city vehicles. That’s significant because photos FOX31 obtained through a public records request suggest he may have side-swiped his city-assigned vehicle.
Sources told the Problem Solvers the damage likely occurred on Oct. 22, when Garland drove home from a restaurant near the Southlands Mall after attending a work-related meeting. He allegedly reported the damage on Oct. 23, but the damage was suspicious enough that the case of an internal affair was opened up two days later.
Aurora Police would not confirm what the investigation was about but did confirm the investigation was initiated on Oct. 25.
Yet, even after internal affairs opened a case, Garland was allowed to drive his damaged car and resume his duties until Dec. 1, the day the Problem Solvers asked about his employment status.
In a Dec. 1 email, an Aurora Police spokesman wrote, “The Chief typically has IA Updates meeting on Mondays; however one was not held this week. After your inquiry, she asked for an update today and learned new information about the case and placed him on admin leave.”
We should note on the date of that email, six Mondays had passed since an internal affairs investigation had been opened against Garlard.
In early December, Chief Vanessa Wilson declined an interview request to explain her delay in placing a high-ranking officer on administrative leave until the Problem Solvers asked.
It turns out Dec. 1 is the same day internal affairs submitted an estimate for body damage for the city vehicle (a 2016 Chevy Impala) that Garland drove.
A public records request revealed the estimate to repair damage to the right side of Garland’s city car would cost $5,799.05.
It’s not known why internal affairs waited nearly six weeks to seek repairs for the car. FOX31 was told Wilson would speak about this case once the investigation was over. Now that it is, the Problem Solvers will again reach out to Wilson.