DENVER (CBS4) – The top attorney representing Denver International Airport, Scott McCoy, is being accused of slapping one of his subordinates multiple times during a holiday party Dec. 16. The incident was apparently witnessed by DIA’s CEO Phil Washington and numerous other of DIA’s top level executives, according to sources familiar with the incident.

The airport’s communications director, Stacey Stegman, said Washington was referring questions from CBS4 to the Denver City Attorney.

City Attorney Kristin Bronson did not respond to an email inquiry from CBS4, and her communications director did not respond to multiple calls and emails.

Scott McCoy (credit: CBS)

McCoy, who is identified as an airport executive vice president and has been DIA’s lead attorney since May 2021, also did not respond to an email inquiry from CBS4. McCoy oversees a team of 18 lawyers and other legal personnel.

According to source reports, the incident took place at a holiday party for DIA’s top executives at a hotel near the airport. Alcohol was being served. A group of DIA leaders, including airport CEO Phil Washington, his Chief of Staff Cristal DeHerrera, airport attorney Everett Martinez and several others, were sitting together at a table when they were joined by McCoy.

The group was discussing police de-escalation tactics said one source, when McCoy apparently decided to demonstrate, jumped up and violently slapped Martinez in the face multiple times and yelled commands at him, nearly knocking Martinez out of his chair.

Martinez, who is assistant general counsel for DIA, declined to discuss the incident with CBS4.

One source at the party said Martinez appeared to be “shocked” by what happened.

It’s unclear if McCoy is facing any disciplinary action as a result of the incident. A 2018 Executive Order from Mayor Hancock forbids any kind of violence by city employees and says they are subject to discipline that can include termination. Executive Order 112 also specifies that supervisors who fail to take action to enforce the executive order can also face discipline, including termination.

It’s unclear if any supervisors who witnessed the event reported what occurred.

The holiday party flap comes at a particularly sensitive time for DIA as airport executives are in the midst of asking Denver City Council to approve another $1.1 billion in expenditures to complete the Great Hall project by 2028.

Presumably, McCoy is deeply involved in the project. The request for additional expenditures is expected to come up for a city council vote in early January.

McCoy oversees a group of attorneys which drafts contracts, negotiates real estate transactions, secures bond financing and litigate and defend legal claims.

McCoy came to the airport from a Denver law firm.

Brian Maass