AURORA, Colo. — The Aurora Police Department has promoted an officer who was found passed out drunk in a patrol vehicle.
Nate Meier was at the wheel of a running patrol car with his foot on the brake when he was found drunk on duty in March 2019.
Officers treated it as a "medical situation," so he was never charged with drunk driving. It was later revealed his blood alcohol level was more than five times the legal limit.
The then-agent was demoted to officer and suspended without pay.
Aurora Interim Police Chief Art Acevedo was not chief at the time. The incident happened under the tenure of former Chief Nick Metz, and much of the investigation was under former Chief Vanessa Wilson.
Acevedo said he was legally bound to promote Meier because of a rule allowing employees to seek a promotion if it's been at least two years since their demotion.
He said he spoke with Meier about the seriousness of his actions.
"I actually took him into my office and we had a very frank conversation, where I told him what consequences should have been criminally and administratively," he said. "And I told him that, you know, had that happened today he would have been fired, would have been prosecuted."
Acevedo said there are still officers in the department upset that Meier didn't face criminal charges. He said Meier is now sober, and shares his story with police cadets as a warning.
His new title is agent/detective.
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