Colo. deputy chief fired after several investigations

The deputy chief was investigated for use of a racial slur, work schedule discrepancies and retaliation against subordinates


Kieran Nicholson
The Denver Post

AURORA, Colo. — Stephen McInerny, deputy chief of operations with Aurora Fire Rescue, has been fired after investigations found him in violation of department policies, according to the city.

McInerny, who was with AFR since May 2018, when he joined as a deputy chief, was investigated for using a racist term about a job candidate, for his personal work schedule and hours and for alleged retaliatory measures against subordinates who raised complaints, according to documents released by the city.

Aurora Fire Rescue Deputy Chief of Operations Stephen McInerny has been fired after multiple investigations found him in violation of department policies.
Aurora Fire Rescue Deputy Chief of Operations Stephen McInerny has been fired after multiple investigations found him in violation of department policies. (Photo/Aurora, Colorado)

In one instance, an investigator found it "more likely than not" that McInerny used a racist term in October 2019 to refer to a job candidate of Indian descent. McInerny denies using a racial slur, according to the investigative report. The investigator came to the conclusion based on the testimony of a witness. McInerny is described in the investigative report as being a "frequent user of profanity" who responded to the racial slur allegation with "weak denial."

"On August 22, 2020, the City received an anonymous complaint through its Ethical Advocate reporting system that sets forth several allegations against DC McInerny arising from five trips he took in 2019 and 2020," according to a report summary. An investigator found that McInerny "did not properly account for three days when he did not work for AFR in 2020."

McInerny was found to be at fault for treating all Fridays in 2020 as "flex days" despite instruction for him to work alternate Fridays during the year, according to a report.

An investigator found it "more likely than not" that McInerny reassigned a firefighter and attempted to interfere with a request for leave in August 2020, in part, because McInerny was "upset" with those who raised concerns about training for HazMat members.

"While the investigation took a number of months to complete, the city acted immediately last year upon learning of concerns," the city said in a statement. "The reports found a number of policy violations occurred."

McInerny's last day with the fire department was Monday. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

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(c)2021 The Denver Post

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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