Crowley files complaint with Aspen city manager
September 10, 2008
ASPEN ” Fired Aspen police officer Jim Crowley apparently is taking steps to contest his termination.
This week Crowley filed what’s called an “Employee Complaint Resolution Form” with City Manager Steve Barwick, Barwick confirmed Wednesday. The two will meet at a later date to discuss the nature of Crowley’s firing.
“I told him to say what he wants to say,” Barwick said. “He hasn’t given us any specifics.”
Barwick declined to speculate if the 42-year-old Crowley, who was fired Aug. 29 for allegedly showing up to work under the influence of alcohol, could be reinstated. He also declined to provide the paperwork Crowley filed Monday with the city manager’s office, saying it is confidential because it is a personnel matter.
The city of Aspen’s Complaint Resolution Policy allows an employee to file a complaint if he or she feels “dissatisfaction concerning any interpretation or application of a work-related policy by management supervisors or other employees.”
The employee can file the complaint with his or her immediate supervisor, the department head, or the city manager. Crowley exercised the latter option. Now it will be up to Barwick to decide on the merit of the complaint made by the 18-year Aspen police veteran.
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“The City Manager will take the necessary steps to review and investigate the complaint and will then issue a written, final and binding decision,” reads the city’s Complaint Resolution Policy.
Crowley, 42, has not spoken publicly about the matter. However, his legal consultant, Lawson Wills, has argued that Crowley’s alleged conduct did not meet the standard for job termination, especially for someone who had been on the force for nearly two decades. Wills, a Glenwood Springs attorney and a friend of Crowley’s, also has insisted that Crowley was hung over ” not drunk ” when he came to work.
Wills declined to comment when reached Wednesday. Previously he has suggested that Crowley may sue the city for wrongful termination. Crowley was living in employee housing at the time of his firing, and had an annual salary of nearly $70,000.
Crowley was terminated by Aspen Police Chief Richard Pryor the day after he showed up at work allegedly intoxicated. According to a police report, Crowley showed up for work and then got behind the wheel of a police car. Later that morning he was cited for driving while ability impaired and possessing a firearm while intoxicated. Both charges are misdemeanors.
Crowley was issued a summons to appear in Pitkin County Court on Oct. 21. The district attorney’s office has yet to decide whether to prosecute.