Max Weller, a City of Boulder resident, has filed a code of conduct complaint against eight members of the Police Oversight Panel after the panel suspended part of its work to instead focus on reforming the 2020 ordinance that created the panel. (Read more about the panel’s decision here.)
The complaint, filed on May 22, 2023, alleges that panelists are “staging a ‘strike’ against the citizens of Boulder they are obligated to serve.” In a previous email to city officials, Weller said the Police Oversight Panel is being influenced by “progressive advocates with an inherent anti-law enforcement bias.”
The new complaint, which some panel members said they expected, comes after the panelists voted to pause their review of internal investigations into complaints of officer misconduct. That decision came after the Boulder City Council removed a panel member — Lisa Sweeney-Miran — following a recommendation by a special counsel who found the selection committee that nominated Sweeney-Miran failed to screen her for bias. (The ordinance states that panel members must not show any “real or perceived bias” to be able to serve.)
Based on the special counsel’s finding and the dramatic outcome, other panel members appointed by the same selection committee were concerned that they, too, might be removed or that their work would be discredited or even legally challenged. Rather than review new cases, the panel members said, they wanted to prioritize revising the city code, in part to prevent future complaints and challenges to their work.
Weller’s complaint against the panel is the 11th conduct complaint filed this year, as some residents have started using the legal process to voice a wide range of grievances. According to city records, that is more code of conduct complaints filed in the past five months than in all of the last decade combined.