A civil rights lawyer representing Lisa Sweeney-Miran, a member of the city’s police watchdog panel who is facing expulsion due to allegations of bias against police, claimed in a letter to the city attorney that it would be illegal under city code for the Boulder City Council to remove her from the post.

“Among other problems,” the letter said, “if the City Council were to accept the Special Counsel’s recommendation, it would expose the City to a claim for violating Ms. Sweeney-Miran’s First Amendment rights.”

The letter, written by Dan Williams of the Boulder-based firm Hutchinson Black and Cook, is a response to a recommendation by a special counsel hired by the City of Boulder that Sweeney-Miran resign from the Police Oversight Panel or be removed by the Boulder City Council due to her “real or perceived bias” against police. The investigation was prompted by a code of conduct complaint filed by a Boulder resident concerned about Sweeney-Miran’s prior involvement in a lawsuit against the city’s police chief over Boulder’s camping ban and her social media posts, among other issues.

Williams, who is involved in the lawsuit seeking to overturn the city’s camping ban, alleges Douglas, a former city attorney, “inaccurately quotes” Sweeney-Miran, “failed to conduct an effective investigation” by not interviewing certain people, and came to an “incorrect legal conclusion” about her role in the camping ban lawsuit.

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