Aurora Fire Rescue deputy chief fired after several investigations

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

McInerny, who was with AFR since May of 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.

In one instance, an investigator found it “more likely than not” that McInerny in October of 2019 referred to an Indian job candidate as a “dot head.” McInerny denies using the 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 of 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 on Friday.


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