Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Oak Creek Oak Creek Sgt. Dave Miller wants his job back.
Miller's Denver attorneys sent a letter dated July 26 to Oak Creek Town Clerk Nancy Crawford and town attorney Bob Weiss requesting a post-termination hearing for Miller.
At the hearing, the Town Board would be required to give its reasons for firing Miller and cite evidence.
If they cannot provide that evidence, Miller requests that "he be reinstated without penalty or discipline (that) he be rewarded back pay, seniority and all other benefits to which he is entitled by reason of his employment," according to the letter.
Miller's termination letter, dated July 18 and signed by then Interim Chief Jason Lunnen, states he had 10 days to appeal. Miller said he did not receive the letter until July 23 because he was fighting wildfires.
According to the letter sent by the law offices of Bruno, Bruno & Colin in Denver, Miller believes that his termination was unlawful and "constitutes an arbitrary and capricious abuse of discretion on behalf of the chief of police and/or the Oak Creek Police Department and/or the Town of Oak Creek."
Miller's termination, the letter continues, was a penalty "disproportionate to the alleged offenses" and "Miller was not afforded notice of the specific charge against him he received no opportunity to address this charge and/or the evidence alleged."
At the time of Miller's termination, two Town Board members, Clyde Moore and Bill Paxton, wrote letters questioning the legality of an executive session held June 27 to discuss Miller's employment.
The session was listed only as "a personnel matter" on the agenda, and Miller was not notified.
"The way this matter was handled appears to have the purpose of keeping Sgt. Miller and the public in the dark until the board could take disciplinary action," wrote Paxton.
Weiss, the Oak Creek town attorney, was unavailable for comment.
The matter will be addressed at the next Oak Creek Town Board meeting Aug. 22.