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Denver sheriff will resign Thursday

DENVER — Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman will resign Thursday, according Mayor Michael Hancock.

Firman has run the Denver Sheriff Department since October 2015.

The sheriff department is separate from the Denver Police Department; it oversees the city’s jail and court systems.

Firman’s last day at the department will be Oct. 14.

Sources say the replacement will likely be announced Thursday as well. City leaders are leaning toward appointing someone who is not currently a sworn officer within the department, but is familiar with how it operates.

The resignation comes as Hancock is out of town.

The mayor said the following in a statement:

“For the past four years, Sheriff Firman has taken on the challenge of driving and implementing one of the most complex and critical reform efforts any of our safety departments has ever attempted. Undertaking a cultural shift of this magnitude is never easy, but the Sheriff never wavered in his commitment to implementing these needed reforms,” Mayor Hancock said. “Sheriff Firman has weathered criticism, fair and unfair, over his tenure at the department, but he remained dedicated his personal commitment to corrections reform, equity, ethical leadership and a passion for serving the people of Denver. He is a loyal and dedicated public servant, and a compassionate and humane man working in an environment where both qualities are sorely needed.”

There have been several high-profile scandals involving the sheriff department during Firman’s tenure, including inmate deaths, use-of-force issues and huge overtime bills for deputies.

A female inmate also gave birth inside a cell without medical attention. She has since filed a federal lawsuit.

Firman issued the following statement:

“When I came here four years ago, it was to take action on over 400 reform recommendations that touched nearly every aspect of the Denver Sheriff Department. With the help of our partners and the tireless efforts of staff, we were successful in implementing those changes,” Firman said. “It has been an honor to serve with these amazing men and women. I wish them the best as they continue to move forward.”

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