Woman in charge of Denver cadet program fired for bullying, inappropriate touching

9NEWS @ 4. 9/15/2016

DENVER - The woman in charge of Denver’s Public Safety Cadet program has been fired for inappropriate touching, bullying, favoritism and other poor behavior on the job.

According to the disciplinary letter released by the city, Kim Fresquez was fired Monday, after an investigation that started in June of this year.

According to the letter, Fresquez was chosen to serve as the Program Manager for the Denver Public Safety Cadet Program in August of 2015.

The person in this position is responsible for ensuring the cadets receive “a college education while fostering the ideas, knowledge and philosophy of the law enforcement, corrections and firefighting professions.”

Executive Director of Safety Stephanie O’Malley received a complaint from a cadet in June of 2016.

The cadet alleged Fresquez made inappropriate comments and was a bully.

Fresquez was placed on leave the following month, in July of 2016.

The disciplinary letter said an investigation found “numerous instances of unprofessional and inappropriate conduct since taking over the Cadet Program in September of 2015.”

The letter says Fresquez frequently called female cadets “bitch” or “bitches.” It also describes “numerous” instances of inappropriate touching of cadets, including hugging a male cadet from behind, slapping another on his butt and being “handsy.”

The investigation revealed Fresquez showed favoritism to cadets and treated the ones she didn’t like appropriately.

Fresquez is said to make inappropriate comments to cadets about their parents, use foul language, gossip about cadets and demean them.

The termination letter also outlines how Fresquez allowed several cadets to work more than 40 hours a week without being paid overtime.

In her muti-page response letter to these allegations, Fresquez told Denver officials she was “working on correcting” the use of inappropriate language.

According to her disciplinary letter, Fresquez told investigators she realized gossiping and allowing cadets work overtime without pay were mistakes.

Fresquez will appeal her firing.

O’Malley’s spokesperson said, “Ms. Fresquez has 15 days from the date the letter was issued to appeal the decision; therefore, the matter is still pending and it would be inappropriate for us to comment.”

9Wants To Know reached Fresquez on her cell, she said she couldn’t talk and referred us to her attorney, who also could not comment. 

In July of 2010, Fresquez received a written reprimand for “using her position in the Chief’s Office to seek out confidential information” that she was not entitled to, according to the disciplinary letter that tells her she’s fired.

At the time, she was assigned as the Executive Assistant to Deputy Chief of Police Michael Battista.

9Wants To Know obtained Fresquez’s written reprimand from 2010. It said her nephew by marriage, also a DPD officer at the time, made a complaint to the department that Fresquez provided details about his Internal Affairs Investigation to her sister and mother.

That officer was Hector Paez and he was suspended, while under investigation for sex assault and kidnapping.

The letter said Fresquez asked an internal affairs detective specific questions about whether there was DNA evidence in Paez’s case.

According to the letter, Fresquez told investigators looking into her conduct, she was only asking “due to fear for her family’s safety.”

A March 1, 2013 press release from the Denver DA’s office says Paez was convicted of kidnapping and sexual assault. In May of 2010, Paez arrested a 36-year-old woman, took her to an isolated location and “coerced” her to perform a sexual act by threatening jail. Paez was hired in 2006 and was working as a patrol officer in District 4 at the time.

Paez, 36, is currently in a Colorado prison. His next parole date is in 2018.

According to Fresquez’s employment records with the city, she was hired in March of 1996 as an agency support technician at DPD. She was transferred to work on the chief’s staff in 2002. She was promoted to the executive assistant job in 2006. Fresquez worked for Denver Public Works for a short while after.

In 2014 she went to the Deputy Chief’s Office and in 2015 was promoted to running the cadet program. 

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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