Harold Johnson Stays on Aurora Public Service Fee; Councilor warns “We’re making a mistake” – CBS Denver
DENVER (CBS4) – Harold Johnson, a former Denver Fire Department captain, will remain on the Aurora Civil Service Commission over fierce objections from a number of Aurora City Council members who voted to include Johnson on the powerful commission just last month.
“He is absolutely unqualified for this position,” said Mayor Mike Coffman at a meeting of the city council on Monday evening. “He has practically no integrity.”
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With a 6-5 vote, Aurora City Council reiterated its decision to make Johnson one of five officers charged with overseeing discipline in the police and fire departments.
Johnson served in the Denver Fire Department for more than two decades, rising to the rank of captain. In 2015, the department fired him for 13 rule violations. Johnson denied the sacking but said he didn’t have the resources to fight the city.
He ran for a member of the Aurora Civil Service Commission and was approved by a unanimous vote of the city council in February. Councilors said at the time they were unaware of his past with Denver.
During his interview, Johnson said of his time with Denver, “When I retired, I went with the rank of captain.”
It was only after his appointment that some council members saw news articles about his departure from Denver, and they admitted they had no idea.
Councilor Francoise Bergan said, “I had no idea.” Johnson had been fired in Denver.
Others said they felt Johnson misled them about his split from DFD.
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“Mr. Johnson misrepresented how he left the city and county of Denver,” said Alderman Dave Gruber.
Bergan said: “He lied about the application, lied in the interview. We’re making a mistake. “
Attempts to remember the appointment failed on Monday night when some council members said they had recently spoken to Johnson.
“He will be good on the commission,” said Councilor Angela Lawson.
Nicole Johnston said she believed Johnson’s version of the events of his departure from the Denver Fire and would not support removing him from the commission. Councilor Juan Marcano said he wanted to remove Johnson first but changed his mind.
“We don’t know everything that happened in Denver,” said Marcano.
Johnson was contacted by CBS4 and said, “I have no other comment than to say I’m looking forward to it
Working with the other commissioners to serve the citizens and the city of Aurora. “
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Several council members expressed concern about the recruitment of civil servants and the lack of background research. An Aurora city spokesman told CBS4 that the hiring process is currently under review.