By Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4)– Two candidates to be Denver’s next Chief of Police listed the same person as a professional reference in their application packets. Both Cmdr. Joe Montoya and Deputy Chief David Quinones listed former Denver Manager of Safety Al Lacabe as one of their professional references.

denver police interview DPD Chief Candidates List Same Professional Reference

Denver Police Deputy Chief David Quinones (credit: CBS)

That information emerged Wednesday morning as Denver responded to an open records request from CBS4 and released each of the five candidates references, resumes, cover letters and disciplinary histories.

csp racial disparity DPD Chief Candidates List Same Professional Reference

Denver Police Chief Robert White (credit: CBS)

The five candidates are vying to replace Chief Robert White, who announced his retirement from the job. White has pledged to remain until his successor is chosen.

Each of the five candidates has been interviewed by a citizens committee and by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. Insiders have told CBS4 they believe a decision on a new chief will come by the end of this week.

ron DPD Chief Candidates List Same Professional Reference

Cmdr. Ron Saunier (credit: CBS)

One of the applicants, Cmdr. Ron Saunier, listed City Council President Albus Brooks as one of his references. He also listed Evan Dreyer as a reference. Dreyer is Mayor Hancock’s Deputy Chief of Staff.

commander paul pazen DPD Chief Candidates List Same Professional Reference

Cmdr. Paul Pazen (credit: denvergov.org)

District One Cmdr. Paul Pazen listed a Rabbi, a Pastor and former City Council member Elbra Wedgeworth as his professional references.

Cmdr. Michael Calo, who oversees District Two, listed former Gov. Bill Ritter as one of his five professional references.

commander michael calo DPD Chief Candidates List Same Professional Reference

Cmdr. Michael Calo Commander (credit: denvergov.org)

In a three-page position paper, Calo delivered a biting assessment of some aspects of the department. He said once Chief White made it known he was retiring, “The department quickly became mired in internal politics. The two deputy chiefs opposition to the chief, and each other, exacerbated an on-going problem of ineffectual leadership. The uneasiness has caused decision paralysis, siloed communications, and a host of internal problems for the organization. We are currently stymieing free thought and dialogue through a culture of fear, mistrust and perceived inequities.”

Cmdr. Michael Calo

Cmdr. Joe Montoya

Cmdr. Paul Pazen

Deputy Chief David Quinones

Cmdr. Ron Saunier

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass has been with the station more than 30 years uncovering waste, fraud and corruption. Follow him on Twitter @Briancbs4.

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