Hancock apologizes as harassment accuser calls him ‘pitiful’ and ‘desperate’

DENVER -- With less than 6 days left in the 2019 mayor's race, Denver Police Detective Leslie Branch Wise, who has accused current Mayor Michael Hancock of sexual harassment through inappropriate text messages, is speaking out.

Detective Wise spoke at a press conference organized by Jamie Giellis’ campaign team. Giellis is Hancock’s challenger in the June 4 runoff.

“Last night’s debate was a tipping point,” Branch-Wise said.

“After looking at him last night I just look at him as a pitiful desperate liar,” Branch-Wise added.

The detective, who worked on Hancock’s private detail more than 7 years ago, is upset with what Hancock said about her during Tuesday's debate hosted by The Denver Post.

During the debate Hancock suggested the text messaging conversation was consensual and therefore it wasn’t harassment.

“When you see the text from Detective Branch-Wise you see my texts,” Hancock said.

“The reason I say it wasn’t sexual harassment because you don’t see the back and forth conversation,” Hancock added.

”I’ve never said anything to this man as inappropriate,” Branch-Wise said.

Late Wednesday, Hancock called a press conference to apologize.

“Last night I made a boneheaded statement that I was to apologize for,” Hancock said.

When asked if he now admits what he did seven years ago was sexual harassment, Hancock said, “the only perception that matters is that of Detective Branch-Wise.”

“I have spoken and been as forthright with the people of Denver as I possibly can,” Hancock said.

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