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Denver Public Works official, top lieutenant no longer employed by the city

Kelly Duffy and Doug Legg, who were with Denver Public Works' street maintenance division, had been on paid leave since early May.
Credit: KUSA

DENVER —

Bullying, intimidation, harassment and bribery are among the items listed in the dismissal letter Doug Legg, now former Denver Public Works street maintenance manager, received Monday. 

The letter also mentions Kelly Duffy, who resigned her position as Director of Street Maintenance, but the city is not commenting on any allegations involving Duffy.

Duffy and Legg had been on paid administrative leave since May 2 for an internal personnel investigation. The dismissal letter, which can be read in full at the end of this article, details complaints brought forward by 13 employees against Legg. 

"All of the persons interviewed complained that you [Legg] have a reputation [of] yelling and bullying, and rude, hateful and intimidating conduct towards them and lower level employees," states the dismissal letter.

The letter also describes fiscal violations involving trips he and Duffy took to Germany and Italy which were mostly paid for by two vendors. Following the trips, equipment from one of the vendors was purchased without taking additional bids from other vendors.

"Ms. Duffy resigned from her employment while disciplinary action was being contemplated, but before any action was taken. We decline to comment on the allegations she was facing and to which she had not yet responded," Diane Vertovec, spokeswoman for the city's Office of Human Resources, said in an email sent to 9Wants to Know.

Denver Public Works Executive Director Eulois Cleckley sent an email to staff on Monday to praise members of the division for coming forward.

“It is critical to the success of our organization that we ensure a culture in which employees are respected and feel they have the ability and the support to report when something looks or feels wrong at work,” Cleckley said.

He urged his staff to look at Denver’s Ethics Handbook and code of conduct for information on the standards expected of employees.

RELATED: Two Denver Public Works employees on leave may have violated ethics policy

Cleckley said the removal of Duffy and Legg will address leadership issues and lead to an examination on how employees deal with vendors.

“In addition to addressing managerial issues through these personnel changes, we continue to review our interactions with vendors to ensure compliance with the city’s ethical, procurement, and fiscal rules and to identify any potential gaps in training and understanding of city processes,” Cleckley said.

Duffy's current annual salary was $147,766.38. According to a job application obtained by 9Wants to Know, Duffy has been with Denver Public Works Street Maintenance since 1999 as a senior agency budget analyst. Legg reported to Duffy and started his job in 2015. He had an annual salary of $92,061.56. Legg climbed the ranks of street maintenance since he joined the division in 2000 as a heavy equipment operator.

READ | Notification of Dismissal Disciplinary Action

Order documents obtained by 9Wants to Know shows Legg later advocated for Denver to buy a $221,060 all-electric street sweeper from Dulevo after a 2018 trip to Italy. Legg sent a memo in November 2018, months after the May trip to Italy, outlining why he thought it was in Denver’s “best interest” to buy the electric street sweeper without another bid.

Kuhn said the city and county of Denver has 21 Dulevo street sweepers that each cost $227,147. That means the government and the vendor had a more than $4.7 million relationship before expanding the fleet to 22 with the electric machine.

Legg said this machine was the only one that could fit the needs of street maintenance and meet the mayor’s goal of a full electric fleet. Denver had already bought equipment made by Dulevo. This reduced the need for training. He said it parts were easy to come by because the machine was sold by Hardline Equipment in Commerce City, Colorado.

The termination letter said that because Legg was in the "formal line of decision making" in regards to the street sweeper, he should not have taken gifts like travel or lodging from Dulevo and HardLine. Accepting those offers is an ethics violation.

It was not the first time Legg went to visit Dulevo in Italy. In July 2017, Legg went to the city of Malpensa with another employee to make sure new equipment was up to Denver’s standards.

“This equipment is new to our fleet; therefore an inspection trip is needed to confirm the equipment build includes all items that were spec’d in the bid,” Legg wrote in the travel authorization form.

Kuhn said in a text that Hardline paid for lodging during this trip and the city reimbursed Legg for the cost of the airline ticket. Hardline is a local vendor that Denver buys Dulevo equipment from.

Marco Bardini, a product marketing manager with Dulevo, sent Legg an email after the 2017 trip.

“Surely there will be other opportunities to see us, but I hope you've spent some nice days in Italy,” Bardini said. “It was a business trip, but I really believe in relationships with people, so I want you to know that you are always welcome. I hope you will have a good memory of Italy. Good return home....and we will see soon.”

Contact 9NEWS with tips about this or any story: blowthewhistle@9news.com.

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