DENVER (CBS4) – Denver City Council members were up in arms that they weren’t being included in the mayor’s review of the Sheriff Department, but the mayor gave in and will allow two council members on the Sheriff Department executive steering committee.
The displeasure was made vividly clear Tuesday morning as members of Mayor Michael Hancock’s administration appeared before a council committee for an update on the progress of the review.
The council had to approve a $3.25 million payout to settle a lawsuit by an inmate, has seen the sheriff resign under pressure, and watched a seemingly endless stream of videos of alleged brutality at the jails.
Denver’s manager of safety and chief of performance came before the angry city council members on Tuesday telling them their review of the Sheriff Department was going ahead without them directly involved.
“What are you thinking? I am astounded,” said Jeanne Robb, Denver City Council District 10.
“I just want to make the overture and the commitment to continually keep council abreast of this work along the way,” Manager of Safety Stephanie O’Malley said.
Hancock’s office says it’s a top-to-bottom review which will lay the groundwork for a new sheriff to take over after a national search is conducted. The council apparently wants a hand in all of it before they get the bill for approval.
Tuesday afternoon Hancock released a statement saying he has asked Council President Chris Herndon to “identify two council members who will serve on the Sheriff Department executive steering committee.”
“After the concerns expressed from City Council members during our first Mayor-Council report out today, I had a good conversation with Council President Herndon, and I have asked him to identify two council members who will serve on the Sheriff Department executive steering committee,” Hancock said in the statement. “This committee is working every day, and I appreciate any council member who will step up and make that kind of commitment to turning around this department.”
The mayor said his decision was based upon listening to the City Council and citizens in the community.
“We will be adding law enforcement, corrections and community expertise to the steering committee as well,” he said.
“We applaud the mayor for establishing the task force and appointing members of City Council. We look forward to working with his administration to create a Sheriff’s Department that our city can be proud of,” Herndon said.
According to the release from Hancock’s office, the council members who were appointed to the committee are Jeanne Robb and Paul Lopez.
Additional Information From Mayor Hancock’s Office
DSD Reform Executive Steering Committee:
• Paul Lopez – Denver City Council representative, Dist. 3
• Jeanne Robb – Denver City Council representative, Dist. 10
• Nick Mitchell – Denver Independent Monitor
• Regina Huerter – Program Manager, Crime Prevention and Control Commission
• Rev. William Golson Jr. – Pastor of True Light Baptist Church and president of the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance
• Dr. Joseph G. Sandoval – Former lawyer and police officer, Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Metropolitan State University of Denver
• Rosemary Rodriguez – Former President of the Denver City Council, DPS board member, former chair of the Federal Elections Assistance Commission
• Jim Davis – Former Denver FBI agent and law enforcement expert
• Elias Diggins – Interim Sheriff, Denver Sheriff Department
• Scott Martinez – City Attorney, City and County of Denver
• Stephanie O’Malley – Executive Director, Denver Department of Safety
• Janice Sinden – Chief of Staff, City and County of Denver
• Robert White – Police Chief, Denver Police Department