Hancock faces women’s commission days after being accused of sexual harassment


Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

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DENVER — Mayor Michael Hancock attended a commission of volunteers advocating for women on Thursday night just two days after a female police detective accused him of sexual harassment.

Hancock apologized on Tuesday for sending what he called inappropriate text messages to Denver police Det. Leslie Branch-Wise in 2012.

Pointed questions were directed to the mayor concerning possible ramifications he could or should face during the Denver’s Women’s Commission meeting.

“It’s important for me, again, not to make excuses,” Hancock said during the meeting.

Hancock discussed a range of actions that people face after being accused of improprieties.

“Not all misconduct is a fireable offense,” Hancock said. “Some people have to be warned very sternly … letter of reprimand, suspended … all the way to dismissal.”

The mayor has said he won’t resign after Branch-Wise, who used to be on his security detail, accused him of sexual harassment.

“It was not, in my mind, sexual intent,” Hancock told the commission.

But regardless of intent, Hancock is now publicly recognizing how his actions are unfolding in the community.

“Talk about a letter in a personnel file,” Hancock said. “My personnel file is public. All over this nation, this story has gone.”

After the regularly scheduled meeting, Hancock headed to a waiting car. But he didn’t leave without facing more questions from reporters.

He was asked if he will consider resignation if more women come forward with allegations against him. He did not answer.

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