City upholds suspension for detective who accused Hancock of sexual harassment

Det. Leslie Branch-Wise

DENVER — A Denver police detective who accused Mayor Michael Hancock of sexual harassment lost her appeal of a four-day suspension.

The Department of Public Safety originally suspended Det. Leslie Branch-Wise back in June.  She was found to have executed a search warrant on the wrong home, while investigating a theft complaint back in 2017.

The discipline letter from the city called it “an egregious home invasion that was clearly avoidable.”

Branch-Wise appealed the suspension saying it was overly harsh but this week a hearing officer for Denver’s Civil Service Commission upheld the order of discipline writing that Branch-Wise’s conduct had a “pronounced impact on the  operations or professional image of the department.”

Branch-Wise is accused of not vetting a criminal complaint of theft thoroughly enough to identify the appropriate house to search for stolen property.

No one was at the house in the Green Valley Ranch neighborhood where officers where forced to “… break through the door to get in,” as stated in the June discipline letter.

“Det. Branch-Wise received conflicting information regarding the [suspect’s] address from different sources,” the letter stated.

Branch-Wise did not exercise care when she incorrectly assumed that one of the addresses was the correct one, according to the city.

In the #MeToo Movement, Branch-Wise has been the voice calling out Denver Mayor Michael Hancock for inappropriate text messages with sexual undertones that she received from the mayor back in 2012 when she worked on Hancock’s security detail.

Hancock apologized to Branch-Wise but has insisted the texts did not constitute  sexual harassment.

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