Court won’t hear Kimberly Hay case | AspenTimes.com

Court won’t hear Kimberly Hay case

Joel Stonington
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” The Colorado Supreme Court announced Monday that it won’t hear the wrongful-termination lawsuit filed against the city of Aspen by former community safety officer Kimberly Hay.

The high court’s decision effectively ends Hay’s legal options for the case.

Hay originally filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission alleging that she was fired as a community safety officer because of her gender. The commission denied her claim, which prompted Hay to file a lawsuit in Pitkin County District Court.

A district court judge ruled in May 2005 that Hay could sue the city but not the Aspen Police Department. The city appealed that ruling, which led to a Court of Appeals decision in July 2006 that the city of Aspen is immune to discrimination claims.

Hay contested the Court of Appeals decision, but the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal, effectively ending her options to pursue her claim.

Hay’s lawyer, John Case, noted that the city had done an end-run around its own anti-discrimination law. The Court of Appeals decision, Case said, came down to a state law that gives immunity against discrimination laws.

With Hay’s legal options exhausted, the findings of the Department of Regulatory Agencies ” Division of Civil Rights how has the final word on a matter that has affected the reputation of the Aspen Police Department.

The Division of Civil Rights issued a 2006 report that stated “there is not sufficient evidence to support” Hay’s accusation that the police department violated city and state laws and fired her because of her gender.

That finding supported the claims of former Police Chief Loren Ryerson and others in the police department, who maintained Hay was fired in 2004 for insubordination and poor job performance, according to the document containing the state’s decision.

Attempts Monday to contact Hay, who now works at the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, were unsuccessful.

jstonington@aspentimes.com


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