AURORA, Colo. – The University of Colorado today announced that Robert N. Miller, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, has been retained to conduct an independent review in an effort to better understand the procedures and actions taken by the university and its employees in relation to the suspect in the Aurora Theater shootings, a former student on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Miller and his team began their review last week. They have been asked to assess various university systems, procedures and actions related to the suspect.
Miller’s involvement was requested by University of Colorado Denver Chancellor Donald M. Elliman, Jr. and Executive Vice Chancellor for the Anschutz Medical Campus Lilly Marks.
“We are committed to evaluating every step in the process to ensure it worked properly,” Elliman said. “We want the community — especially the loved ones of those who lost their lives and the individuals injured in this senseless tragedy — to know our resolve rests with understanding all the facts so we can assist law enforcement and other authorities in ensuring that justice prevails.”
Miller conducts his review with the endorsement and support of the University of Colorado Board of Regents and University of Colorado President Bruce Benson.
Board of Regents Chair Michael Carrigan stated, “The Board of Regents serves the State of Colorado and is committed to understanding the circumstances of the tragic event that has so deeply affected our community. Engaging an independent attorney of Bob Miller’s caliber is an important part of that commitment and the Board of Regents appreciates his efforts.”
University of Colorado President Bruce D. Benson pledged the University of Colorado’s cooperation in this independent assessment, “The University is doing all it can to fully cooperate with the criminal investigation. Additionally, we are doing everything we can to understand how the university’s systems and processes functioned in this situation. Bob Miller comes to us with a stellar reputation for diligence and integrity. We have given him broad latitude to conduct his review.”
The internal review is anticipated to take some time and the university has imposed no specific timeline on Miller and his team. The University also has not imposed any restraints upon the scope of Miller’s review and has pledged its cooperation as it occurs.
At the conclusion of the review, Miller will report his findings. At this time, it is uncertain what information collected in the review can be disclosed publicly. Beyond the court order which bars the university from discussing matters related to the law enforcement investigation, it must also abide by other laws that protect some types of information from disclosure.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) precludes the university from disclosing many student-related records. The Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act (HIPAA), as well as laws governing physician-patient relationships, also precludes the university from providing information on care provided to patients. Upon receiving Miller’s findings, the University will determine how these laws apply and what disclosures are legally permissible.
For more than 45 years, Miller has served as both a prosecutor and defense counsel in many complex legal matters. He routinely conducts internal investigations and advises companies on compliance programs. He was a Judge Advocate General in the U.S. Air Force, District Attorney of Weld County, U.S. Attorney for Colorado, Chief Counsel of Litigation for US WEST, Inc., and has worked for several prestigious law firms including his present position as a partner at Perkins Coie, LLP.