Sexual harassment allegations resulted in firing of mayor’s aide in 2012

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DENVER — A former member of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s security detail has accused him of sexual harassment.

He responded with a statement of apology Tuesday for inappropriate text messages he sent to Denver police Det. Leslie Branch-Wise in 2012.

Branch-Wise is a current member of the Denver Police Department.

She also accused one of the mayor’s top aides of sexual harassment six years ago. Wayne McDonald was ultimately fired because of those allegations.

McDonald wasn’t just a longtime aide to the mayor, he was also a close friend.

The two attended college together and McDonald was a driver for Hancock during his mayoral campaign.

That relationship took a turn for the worse in 2012 when Branch-Wise came forward, claiming McDonald  was sexually harassing her.

Hancock took action and fired McDonald for what the mayor’s office at that time called “serious allegations of misconduct.”

McDonald then sued the city for wrongful termination in 2016, ultimately settling for $200,000.

Branch-Wise was paid a $75,000 city settlement over the claims involving McDonald.

As part of that settlement, she agreed not to file claims against anyone else in the city, including Hancock.

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