Patrick Firman named new Denver sheriff

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DENVER -- Mayor Michael Hancock announced Thursday morning that Patrick Firman will be the new sheriff of Denver.

Firman is a deputy chief of corrections in McHenry, Ill.

The announcement comes after a nationwide search was conducted by the independent consulting firm Hillard Heintze. Twenty-five people applied for the job.

Firman takes over an embattled department that has seen the city pay more than $9 million in legal settlements and lawyers' fees related to several excessive-force scandals.

An independent report released in May called for sweeping changes across the board, from appointing a new sheriff to selecting new underwear for inmates.

RELATED: Hillard Heintze Report on the Denver Sheriff Department

The four-month report featured 120 interviews and yielded 277 recommendations for change. It discovered critical problems with the way inmates are counted, tracked and placed within the jail.

The new sheriff will replace Gary Wilson, who resigned in July 2014. Elias Diggins has been the interim sheriff.