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Statement: Officer Rodriguez Update

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DENTON, TX, Sept. 11, 2020 – On October 29, 2019, Officer Urbano “Urban” Rodriguez of the Denton Police Department was shot in the line of duty while conducting a traffic stop in the City of Denton. Within the last week and a half, upon being made aware of troubling concerns regarding the processing claims and benefits owed to Officer Urban Rodriguez, City Manager Todd Hileman directed City staff to do an in-depth review of Officer Rodriguez’s case. This case has been managed by a third-party administrator. A third-party administrator is routinely used by organizations to manage the claims processing and administration process to avoid any potential conflicts of interest and ensure due-process for the employee and the employer. Additionally, a third-party administrator has the contractual authority to determine processes that need to be followed to access all benefits due to an injured employee, while remaining in compliance with all required state statutes.

Following the City’s extensive review and audit of the files and case management of the third-party administrator, staff identified several concerns with its handling of the case, including a lack of clarity and poor communication with Officer Rodriguez and his family.

The City of Denton’s Human Resources Director took immediate action to intervene on behalf of Officer Rodriguez and his family:

  • The City took responsibility of the rental van that was being provided to the family while City staff worked directly with the insurance carrier to expedite the approval and payment of modifications to a van purchased by the family. The van is expected to be delivered to Officer Rodriguez and his family the week of Sept. 21.

  • Furthermore, the City is securing a dedicated specialized care manager to serve Officer Rodriguez and his family to work directly with them on navigating the processes to ensure compliance with statutes and to access all the benefits owed to him.

  • The City Manager has moved forward with a comprehensive review of the City’s third-party administrator and will consider future corrective measures within a 30-day time period.

  • The City Manager and Police Chief will have two action items scheduled for the Sept. 22, 2020 City Council meeting agenda to 1) propose extending the Line of Duty Injury Leave of Absence benefits for Officer Rodriguez in support of his continued improvement, and 2) to consider a resolution to authorize and provide the City Manager and City Attorney additional flexibility to make decisions regarding additional requests or benefits.

We remain committed to Officer Rodriguez and his family as he continues in the process of recovery and rehabilitation and will work to ensure he receives the care and benefits he is owed for his sacrifice and service to protecting this community.

Contact: Ryan Adams, (940) 349-8565, Ryan.Adams@cityofdenton.com

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