Court of Appeals • Judges advise Saratoga Springs Employee Appeals Board to review demotion of Aaron Rosen based on evidence issues .
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A Saratoga Springs police officer demoted after he dropped his pants in front of a female co-worker has a chance of being reinstated to the rank of corporal, after the Utah State Court of Appeals on Thursday advised a city board to rethink a prior decision to strip the officer of his title because of his behavior.
Aaron Rosen, a current patrol supervisor who is also a country radio broadcast personality "Coyote McCoy" for KUBL-FM (93.3 FM) and the chaplain for the Utah Peace Officers Association dropped his pants to his knees in front of a police department records clerk in January 2011, according to court records. Rosen revealed at least his underwear and also made an inappropriate comment to the clerk, court records state.
At the time of the incident Rosen was a corporal. The next day an investigating sergeant instructed Rosen in a letter to have only "professional contact" with the clerk until things "cooled off," court records state.
In the following days Rosen attempted to make amends. He put a circus ticket one he had gotten from the radio station where he works part time in the clerk's work mailbox and also replied in a joking manner to an email she sent out.
When the investigation wrapped up two weeks later, the Saratoga Springs Police chief gave Rosen a verbal reprimand and allowed him to make a short apology to the clerk.
It is not clear in the report if that apology occurred. A few days after Rosen received the reprimand, however, he congratulated the clerk for winning a RiverDance ticket from a giveaway at his radio station. He entered her name without her knowledge and told her she had won by random selection, according to court records.
Rosen was then placed on paid-administrative leave and ordered by the chief not to have any contact, give gifts or do anything that could make the clerk feel "unwanted recognition."
The police department demoted Rosen after calling his actions "insubordination" and "conduct unbecoming of an officer." Rosen was accused of violating four "professional contact only" orders for him to keep his distance from the clerk during the investigation, court records state.
Rosen appealed the decision to the Saratoga Springs Employee Appeals Board stating he never received an order and was only told not to discuss the incident where he dropped his pants during the investigation. But the board upheld its decision to demote him out of his supervisory role, citing three other witnesses who corroborated that Rosen was ordered to not interact with clerk unless necessary for work.
Rosen then brought his case to the Utah State Court of Appeals, which on Thursday ruled that the Saratoga Springs Employee Appeals Board should review its prior decision. After hearing arguments in the case, the appeals court ruled that there was evidence that showed a discrepancy in the number of conversations where Rosen was ordered to have "professional contact only" with the clerk.
The employee board was also advised to make a decision on how consistent Rosen's demotion was with the department's disciplinary history for other employees. The employee board will take up the matter again in coming weeks.