Human resources consultant: Enough for investigation into Hancock texts

DENVER -- In some of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s text messages to Denver police Det. Leslie Branch-Wise he says things such as “You look sexy in all that black” and “You make it hard on a brotha to keep it correct everyday.”

In one message, he asks her if she’s taken a pole dancing class.

“Would he have also sent a message to a male detective and asked if he took Chippendales classes?” asked human resources consultant Nora Burns with HR-Undercover.

She thinks there is enough information to warrant an investigation.

“Sexual harassment doesn’t have to include physical contact, and banter, sexualized banter, is part of the definition of sexual harassment, and in this case he's the boss, he's like the big boss, the main boss, and that adds a higher level of complexity to any sexual innuendo,” Burns said.

Burns said sexual innuendo, comments, jokes or messages can create a hostile work environment.

“I think that sexual harassment goes to the eye of the receiver. So it’s not in the intent with which the message was sent, it is in how it was received,” she said.

“It’s a different eye when you are a woman reporting to a man in a position of power who is sending you sexualized messages.”