Detective who accused Hancock of sexual harassment ‘disappointed’ city council won’t investigate

DENVER — A Denver police detective who accused Mayor Michael Hancock of sending inappropriate text messages in 2012 said she is “disappointed” the Denver City Council won’t investigate the incident.

Det. Leslie Branch-Wise asked for an investigation into the mayor and text messages some thought were inappropriate that he sent to her while she served on his security detail.

Branch-Wise’s attorney’s said she is “extremely disappointed in the council’s decision not to pursue an investigation into the mayor’s actions toward her.”

In a statement Tuesday, council president Albus Brooks said “since we are not the judicial branch, we are unable to make a legal conclusion about the mayor’s conduct and there are no disputed facts.”

Her attorneys disagree and said “This is about whether the council truly wants to seek the truth regarding the mayor’s actions and the additional events which led to Det. Branch-Wise requesting a transfer from the mayor’s detail.”

In 2013, Branch-Wise reached a settlement with the city, waiving her rights to pursue additional legal action.

Hancock has admitted the messages crossed the line from the start but has argued whether they amounted to sexual harassment.

In a statement, the mayor’s office said Hancock has been “open, honest and transparent about this matter.”

Hancock has apologized to Branch-Wise as well as his family and the city.

“Mayor Hancock is committed to learning and growing from all of this while continuing to lead the city forward,” the statement said.

The city council said it is deeply concerned about the current sexual harassment complaint policy. It’s calling on Hancock to adopt new policies that better hold him accountable.

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