DENVER – A day after Mayor Michael Hancock apologized for inappropriate text messages he sent to a subordinate six years ago, other city officials are reacting to the news.
“The mayor has rightfully apologized, and I trust that he and his administration are taking the appropriate steps to learn from this lesson so it won’t happen again,” said City Council President Albus Brooks in a Facebook post.
City Councilor Debbie Ortega sent a statement to 9NEWS, calling the incident disappointing.
“It is never appropriate to subject a woman or any person in the workplace to sexual comments, innuendo or harassment, especially when they are a subordinate,” Ortega’s statement said in part.
The Denver Police Protective Association sent a statement saying it stands behind Det. Leslie Branch-Wise, the recipient of the mayor’s text messages. Branch-Wise received the messages in 2012 while assigned to Mayor Hancock’s security detail.
“While we are aware that this isn’t the first time the mayor’s name has been associated with a sexual scandal, we consider the allegations against Mayor Michael Hancock very serious,” the DPPA said.
The DPPA statement also called on other people to come forward if they have similar allegations.
The city’s human resources department also said there will be mandatory sexual harassment prevention training in March for all city employees. A spokesperson for the department said the training has been planned for months and is not in response to the mayor’s behavior.
9NEWS Investigator Jeremy Jojola has learned Hancock has sent a handwritten apology letter to Branch-Wise.