Denver sheriff resigns, is appointed by mayor to a new $160,000 job the next day

Data pix.

DENVER -- On Oct. 14, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced that Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman resigned. The following day, Firman was given a job appointed by the mayor.

When Firman started his job as Sheriff, his salary was $194,476. His new job is to develop a strategy for technology-related initiatives, according to the mayor's office. His salary for the newly appointed position is $160,000.

The mayor's office released the following statement:

“One of Patrick Firman’s accomplishments as Sheriff was his work around innovation and utilization of complex data to measure reforms.  We have a number of initiatives, like Denver’s Opportunity Index and other cross agency needs that rely on successful measurement,  smart deployment of technology and creation of a central data hub.  Patrick is working, in coordination with Public Safety, Technology Services and the Mayor’s office to lead and coordinate this cross-agency work.”

There were several high-profile scandals involving the sheriff department during Firman’s tenure, including inmate deathsuse-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.

When interviewed Friday, Hancock said the position was created last year at Firman was "perfect" for it.

"We looked at his skill set and the job we were moving to create under this data hub. It matched," Hancock said.

Hancock added that Firman is always someone he valued in his administration.

"When he was ready to step down (as sheriff), I saw that his skill set aligned with what we were trying to do under Public Safety and I asked him to assume the role. There is nothing untoward about that. nothing unusual about someone who’s running an organization trying to utilize the talent and skill that Patrick Firman brought to the table," Hancock said.

Moreover, the mayor said it was not unusual for him to not inform City Council of re-hiring Firman.

"There’s a lot of people that work for me that maybe City Council does not know work for me. But if they, ask they will be told," Hancock said.

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