Boulder officials on Tuesday, May 2, provided city councilmembers with a memo that seeks to answer their questions regarding an investigation by a special counsel into a member of the Police Oversight Panel.
The investigation was triggered by a group of residents who lodged complaints alleging the panelist, Lisa Sweeney-Miran, is biased against police. The special counsel, Clay Douglas, a former city attorney appointed by councilmembers, determined late last month that Sweeney-Miran should be removed or resign due to a provision in city code that prohibits anyone with a “real or perceived bias” from serving on the panel.
Critics of the investigation have asked why Douglas did not interview members of the selection committee, which nominates new panel members for council approval. According to the memo, Douglas considered the deliberations of the selection committee confidential under city code. To interview them would have posed “potential violations” of the law, the memo said.
Others asked why he didn’t interview the people who first created the panel, in part to understand the intent behind the provision prohibiting members from showing bias. This would have been “beyond the scope of his engagement,” according to the memo.
On Thursday, May 4, the city council is scheduled to vote on whether to remove Sweeney-Miran from the panel. On Monday, her lawyer sent another letter to city officials arguing city council does not have authority to remove her. Sweeney-Miran’s ouster would be a significant show of influence by the city council over the panel, which until this year has received little oversight since it began meeting in early 2021.
For more on the issue, see our previous reporting.