By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)– Dozens of protesters rallied on the steps of the City County Building in downtown Denver on Wednesday morning, calling for the resignation of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

Hancock has apologized for to a former member of his security detail who he acknowledged sending “inappropriate” texts to six years ago.

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Denver Police Detective Leslie Branch-Wise was on Hancock’s security team early in his first mayoral term. One of the texts Hancock sent her asked if she had an interest in pole dancing. Another told her that she looked “sexy” in black.

Leslie Branch-Wise (credit: CBS)

On Wednesday, the protesters carried signs that read “#TimesUpHancock.”

They said that Denver deserves better.

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“Denver deserves a mayor who understands what sexual harrassment means and knows that it doesn’t require touching to violate work space, said Lisa Calderón with the Colorado Latino Forum. “We need a mayor who doesn’t resort to lame excuses by blaming inappropriate behavior on being friendly or too familiar but instead acknowledges that he abused his power.”

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One protester, Bridget Walsh said, “I’m here today as a citizen and taxpayer who wants mayor ethical transparent and an adult, not some frat boy.”

She wore a button photo of Michael Hancock with the word “trouble.”

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Calderon was an organizer of this event. Her private business, until recently, had a human services contract with the city and she was not happy with the Hancock administration.

CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger asked her about any possible links between the protest and her work, “Is there any connection with the contract you referred to?”

Lisa Calderon of the Colorado Latino Forum (credit: CBS)

She replied, “I’ve lost my contract so there is no connection.”

Just after the rally ended she was in a city council committee hearing as the contract she once had was approved for a rival bidder.

And the mayor’s spokesperson Amber Miller said the rally was organized by those who have long opposed his administration.

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“The political critics unfortunately are using this moment to pile on and use for their political advantage,” she said.

She reiterated the mayor has apologized for his texts and is not going to resign.

Protesters say if he doesn’t resign, they will consider other options to get him out of office, including having someone run against him, maybe even a woman.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.