Hancock sends handwritten apology to police detective for ‘inappropriate’ texts


Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER — Mayor Michael Hancock sent a handwritten apology to Denver police Det. Leslie Branch-Wise on Wednesday for sending inappropriate text messages to her in 2012, the mayor’s office said.

The move comes a  day after Hancock apologized publicly for text messages he sent to the woman who worked on his security detail in 2012.

He apologized to Branch-Wise and the city of Denver for the text messages that he admitted were inappropriate.

Four text exchanges between the mayor and Branch-Wise in 2012 were provided by the mayor’s office.

Hancock: “What are you doing tonight?”
Branch-Wise: “Nothing just watching TV.”
Hancock: “Just giving you a hard time. I have to keep you balanced. All I hear from my friends is how fine you are. I just had dinner with three friends in LA and your name came up and they all commented on you. You should feel good my friends really appreciate you.”

Hancock: “OK, so I just watched this story on women taking pole dancing classes. Have you every taking [sic] one and why do women take the course? If not, have you ever considered taking one and why? Thoughts?”
Hancock: “Be careful! I’m curious!”
Hancock: “LOL!”
Hancock: “Hope you are doing better.”
Branch-Wise: “I am. Much better.”
Hancock: “Very good. Have a good weekend.”
Branch-Wise: “You too!”

Hancock: “Just landed in LV. It’s party time, baby!!”
Branch-Wise: “Yay!!!!! Like a rockstar!”
Hancock: “Loved the short doo. You make it hard on a brotha to keep it correct everyday.”

Hancock: “You look sexy in all that black! LOL!
Branch-Wise: “You saw me?”
Hancock: “How would I know you had on black? Were all over the TV!”

Branch-Wise currently is a Denver police detective.

In an interview on Tuesday night, Hancock admitted the texts crossed the line.

“I think it’s important there were no sexual advances here, there was no appropriate touching,” Hancock said. “That was not what characterized our relationship. And our friendship, we were friends. I was her boss. …

“I blurred the line between being a friend and a boss. Our text exchanges were too familiar too casual and inappropriate. And I now know as of last week after six years that those exchanges caused her pain and for that I’m sorry.

“I apologize to her, to detective Branch-Wise, my wife and family and the people of Denver.”

Hancock added that he will not resign.

Hancock issued a lengthy statement on Tuesday after the allegations first surfaced.

“Six years ago, Denver Police Detective Leslie Branch-Wise was a member of my security team. In May of 2012, she called me. She let me know she had requested a transfer out of the unit because a member of my staff had sexually harassed her.

I listened and what I heard greatly disturbed me. I apologized that this had happened. We reviewed the matter and took immediate action. The employee was fired within days.

While those facts have been public for years, I am here today to apologize for my own words from that time – text messages that were too familiar and unprofessional.

But let me be clear – my behavior did not involve sexual advances or inappropriate physical contact.

During Detective Branch-Wise’s time on the security team, we became friends, but my text messages in 2012 blurred the lines between being a friend and being a boss.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know until just a few days ago that she felt our text exchanges were unwelcome and contributed to the pain and disrespect she was already feeling. But it is obvious now that she did feel that way.

I sincerely apologize to Detective Branch-Wise, to my wife and family, and to the people of Denver.

I trust that those who know me will recognize that this is not a full measure of my character – of who I am as a husband, a father, a son or the Mayor of this great city. I have learned from this mistake, and today I assure you that my words and actions will continue to support all women in the workplace.

I have the utmost respect for Detective Branch-Wise. She showed courage in 2012, and again by coming forward now. She is a valued and dedicated police officer who has served and continues to serve this city well.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Read

Top Stories