The Denver Sheriff Department will accept a penalty from the Department of Justice after a federal probe found it wrongly made U.S. citizenship a job requirement during a recent hiring spree.
The sheriff's department — the biggest sheriff's office in Colorado — will pay a $10,000 fine after it required applications for deputy sheriff jobs to be U.S. citizens when hiring from the beginning of 2015 through March 2016. The department went on a hiring spree of 200 deputies as part of its ongoing reform.
The department will also have to go through old applications to find applicants who were eliminated because of their citizenship status and reconsider them for future jobs.
The Justice Department made the announcement on Monday, saying the sheriff's department violated the Immigration and Nationality Act without having an exemption.
As part of the settlement with the federal government, the Denver sheriff's department will also have to train its human resources staff on the Immigration and Nationality Act's anti-discrimination provisions. It will also review its policies to make sure they are in compliance with those provisions.
"Eliminating this unlawful citizenship requirement will help ensure that the Denver Sheriff Department hires the best and most qualified individuals to protect and serve. The entire community will benefit from these reforms," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, in a statement.
The Denver Sheriff Department is a different entity than the Denver Police Department, which received more than $130,000 from the DOJ last year for its police body-worn camera program.