Fired Officer Gets Reinstated

Aurora City Council Can Appeal Ruling

A police officer fired after allegedly kicking a woman in the face is getting his job back.

The Civil Service Commission decided to reinstate Aurora police Officer James Waselkow, according to the Aurora Sentinel.

Waselkow was terminated in June 2010, after six years on the job, for allegedly using excessive force and violating several policies stemming from a Feb. 12, 2009, arrest.

City lawyers said Waselkow’s firing was warranted after he used unnecessary and excessive force against Carla Meza, who claimed Waselkow intentionally kicked her in the face while she was handcuffed. Mesa suffered an orbital fracture of her right eye socket.

Lawyers for Waselkow said he was made a scapegoat in the Meza incident and did not intentionally use excessive force against her. Lawyer Brian Reynolds said there is no credible evidence to believe Meza’s claims that Waselkow intentionally kicked her in the face, since she is a criminal and known to be violent, the newspaper reported. Colorado Bureau of Investigation records show Meza has been arrested 20 times in Colorado since 1998.

The charges against Waselkow for failure to report the woman’s injuries, failure to perform responsibilities for preliminary investigation and unsatisfactory performance were sustained by the Civil Service Commission. For those charges, the commission ruled that Waselkow’s punishment should be four weeks suspension without pay and additional training on police tactics and report writing.

However, the commission decided that termination was not appropriate punishment.

The Aurora City Council can appeal the verdict.

Read more about the decision in the Aurora Sentinel.