Former city council member wants Mayor Michael Hancock to resign

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DENVER -- City leaders are reacting to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s admission to sending inappropriate text messages to a former member of his security detail in 2012.

Hancock said he sent Denver police Det. Leslie Branch-Wise text messages he describes as "too familiar."

The mayor sent a handwritten apology to Branch-Wise on Wednesday. He publicly apologized to his wife, family and people of Denver on Tuesday.

Denver City Council President Albus Brooks posted a statement on Facebook saying, "my heart hurts for detective Branch-Wise and the families this impacted."

He added the mayor has rightfully apologized, he trusts the administration will take steps to learn from this lesson and calls for a safe work environment for all employees.

"I am disappointed to learn about Mayor Hancock's inappropriate texts to a member of his security team and appreciate the apology he has issued," at-large Councilwoman Deborah Ortega said in a statement.

“It is never appropriate to subject a woman or any person in the workplace to sexual comments, innuendo or harassment."

“Is it any mystery what happened? A man in power used his power to abuse a subordinate," said former City Council member Susan Barnes-Gelt, who served from 1995 to 2003.

Barnes-Gelt said she feels the mayor should resign immediately because not doing so sends the wrong message at a time when sexual harassment cases are spurring national movements.

“Obviously, Michael Hancock isn't Harvey Weinstein, but Michael Hancock took advantage of a woman in his security detail in the police department while he was mayor,” Barnes-Gelt said.

Brooks said the council  has no legal authority to take any action against the mayor.

The Denver Sheriff's Fraternal Order of Police is calling for an investigation. The Denver Ethics Commission said it has not been asked to do an internal review.

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