Aurora police union: City Should Let Cop Fired Over Hidden Cameras Used to Spy on Ex-Wife Go Back to Work

An Aurora police officer who was fired for secretly installing cameras he later used to spy on his ex-wife should get his job back, according to a court document filed by the police union.

An independent arbitrator ruled that Daniel Wagner should have only been suspended for one year over the cameras, which included one in her bedroom.

The City of Aurora then filed a lawsuit seeking a judge’s ruling on the issue. That lawsuit is pending in Kane County Circuit Court.

In a motion filed in that suit, the union said Wagner was sent away when he attempted to report to work in Aurora in January.

Aurora’s police union president, Detective Kevin Jenkins, could not be reached for comment.

“As we have said previously, we are not going to discuss this or any other ongoing matter in the media,” police spokesman Dan Ferrelli said in an email. “Doing so would be inappropriate.”

Wagner admitted to installing video cameras inside the Sugar Grove home he once shared with his ex-wife, according to a search warrant affidavit.

He installed the cameras, including one in the bedroom, while their divorce was pending and he was still living there, according to documents related to the lawsuit. He reactivated them after moving out and the divorce was finalized and continued to monitor his ex-wife in her home without her knowledge, according to court documents.

The cameras transmitted video and audio to the website of the manufacturer, Nest, and could be accessed remotely, according to court documents. Court records state Wagner looked at the video daily, accessing it from devices including his city-issued phone.

A letter to Wagner states his termination was to be effective Jan. 19, 2017, following the recommendation of Police Chief Kristen Ziman. Court documents quote Ziman recommending Wagner’s termination, stating his actions went “beyond ‘lack of judgment’ or emotion.”

In an October arbitration hearing, the city maintained that any sanction short of termination would violate public policy, according to records.

The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office declined to authorize criminal charges against Wagner. First Assistant State’s Attorney Jody Gleason previously said prosecutors addressed the situation “appropriately,” considering available evidence.

Though the arbitrator found Wagner guilty of the accusations, he also determined “termination may be too harsh a remedy” and ordered a one-year suspension with Wagner returned to work this Jan. 18.

A motion call is set for Feb. 21 with Kane County Judge David Akemann. A case management conference is scheduled for May 4.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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