By Jamie Leary
DENVER (CBS4) – Denver City Council members will meet in a closed executive session Tuesday to discuss a possible investigation of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock over inappropriate text messages.
The Mayor acknowledged sending “inappropriate” texts, six years ago to Denver Police Detective Leslie Branch-Wise who was on Hancock’s security team at the time. Branch-Wise has since said she not only wants an investigation, she wants it to be open.
“If the City Council wants to run an investigation we will cooperate, we have always said that from day one.” Said Mayor Hancock who was sidelined at a news conference about the city paving season.
Since the text messages have surfaced, a growing number of Hancock critics have come forward.
Lisa Calderon with the Colorado Latino Forum says she was tired of seeing sexual harassment go ignored and thought something more needed to be done. While some have called her a “professional agitator”, Calderon sees it differently.
“There would be nothing to agitate if the Mayor was fair and wasn’t retaliatory towards women who stood up to him.” She said.
At the beginning of March, Calderon helped organize a rally calling for Mayor Hancock’s resignation. On Saturday, for the second time, she interrupted a community meeting.
“We watched the interview with Leslie Branch-Wise and we thought we had to do something to show that we support her but also other women who have been retaliated against by Michael Hancock.” Said Calderon.
The Denver City Council recently sent a letter to the attorney of Branch-Wise asking to know why she wishes to make the investigation open.
The Mayor’s office issued a statement on Monday addressing the recent protests and the investigation.
“Think it is important to note in your story that those who have protested are common critics of the administration. Their opposition to the Mayor has been consistent over the past 7 years and has interrupted the Cabinet in the Community before.
They have protested at two events recently about this topic – their own event where there were as many members of the media as there were protesters and the other being the Cabinet in the Community meeting that they have interrupted before – not about this topic but a new topic each time.
“It’s wrong that they are using this for political advantage but not surprising.”
The City Council meeting will begin at 5:30 P.M. Tuesday and will be open to the public. After the meeting, council members will go into a closed executive session. After the executive session, they may or may not announce a decision on whether to move forward with the investigation.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.