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Top Denver Airport Lawyer Resigns After Holiday Party Incident

The senior lawyer for Denver International Airport resigned this week amid a city investigation into his behavior during a recent holiday party for DIA executives.

Scott McCoy, the DIA’s general counsel, admitted in an interview Thursday that he had been physically with another lawyer – one of his subordinates – during an impromptu demonstration of an interaction with the police who apparently caught the other guy off guard during the Dec.16 event. He called it a mistake to touch someone “without obtaining their consent”.

But he took issue with the characterizations of a CBS4 report on the level of violence earlier this week, saying he only realized the next day that his actions were seen by the other lawyer and others as inappropriate. He said they didn’t seem to accept his apologies. The other lawyer involved declined to comment on Thursday.

“I didn’t want this to continue to be a distraction,” McCoy said, so he tendered his resignation, which takes effect Saturday.

His conduct had caught the attention of the Denver City Attorney’s Office, which appointed him to the DIA position. The dual role is considered to be an executive vice president position at the airport. He started work in early May, overseeing an 18-person airport legal team; her most recent salary was $ 205,000 a year, a city spokeswoman said.

Jacqlin Davis, the information officer for the city attorney’s office, released a statement Thursday saying the office “had promptly investigated the unfortunate incident that took place at the DEN holiday rally,” Although she did not specify when this investigation began. She confirmed that McCoy had resigned and said: “Because this is a personnel matter, the CAO is declining to provide further comment.”

The incident unfolded in seconds during the party at a hotel near the DIA, which drew airport CEO Phil Washington and other high-level officials. McCoy said he had joined several in an “informal conversation” about police use of force practices and some calls to “spend the police” in the wake of high-profile deaths of people in custody these last years.

While discussing the importance of police de-escalation techniques, McCoy said, he decided to engage in a role-play to illustrate his point – by modeling how a person might resist arrest and provoke an officer. , a situation that would require strategic thinking on the part of the officer to be defused. It’s a subject that fascinates him, he says.

So he turned to the other attorney at the airport, McCoy said, and repeatedly touched him on the top of his chest, waved his hands at the other attorney’s face and yelled. .

McCoy admitted to taking the other lawyer by surprise.

But he disputed that he “slapped hard” on the coworker in the face several times in a way that almost knocked him off his chair. This is how Monday’s CBS4 report characterized his conduct, citing an anonymous source. McCoy told The Post he drank very little alcohol and was not drunk – “absolutely not”.

“I remember touching (the other lawyer) on the shoulder, and I was also waving my hand really close to his face,” McCoy said, before adding, “I shouldn’t have touched anyone without it. to be really clear. It was a mistake. “