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Body Cam Captures Code Enforcement Officer Soliciting Prostitutes

By Rick Sallinger

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) - A body camera turned the tables on an Aurora code enforcement officer who was forced to resign from his job after the camera on him recorded him soliciting prostitutes.

Paul Thorne had been wearing the camera as part of a test the city was conducting for use in the field on calls similar to what police officers handle.

The video recordings are randomly checked by supervisors. But what was discovered on a tape from Dec. 18, 2016 looked more like breaking the law rather than enforcing the municipal codes for such things as zoning, building and plumbing violations.

According to an Aurora Police Department offense and summons document, Thorne "spoke to and arranged to meet with two separate unidentified female parties for the explicit purpose of having sex in exchange for a 'donation.'"

The court document claims Thorne, on the tape, told the women he called that he located their contact information on the website Back Page.

When Thorne was contacted by police in January they say that he wished to take full responsibility for his actions. He resigned from his job with the City of Aurora in lieu of termination.

When reached by CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger, Thorne told him, "Life happens and you don't need anyone else to amplify your mistakes."

CBS4 requested a copy of the body cam video through the Colorado Open Records Act, but the City of Aurora Municipal Records Supervisor Lisa Horton denied it, claiming in a letter it would not release it, "because the Aurora Police Department is balancing the privacy interests of individuals impacted by disclosure and the public purpose served by allowing the disclosure of the video."

Thorne pleaded guilty to charges of soliciting a prostitute and was placed on six months probation. The case was prosecuted by the Arapahoe County District Attorney's office.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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