Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced Monday that he is replacing his top law enforcement manager and creating a new job for her.
Stephanie O'Malley will no longer be Manager of Safety, which oversees Denver Police, Denver Fire and the Denver Sheriff's Office. Instead, he created a new, 'Special Assistant to the Mayor' position for O'Malley.
She has been the Manager of Safety for four years, and was previously Hancock's Deputy Chief of Staff.
"I thank him for that honor and for the opportunity to continue to serve in his administration," said O'Malley.
O'Malley became the subject of controversy following a Denver Sheriff's Department investigation into whether her niece received preferential treatment while being booked into jail.
Hancock picked Deputy Safety Manager Troy Riggs to serve as the head of the Department of Public Safety. Riggs was hired last year to be her deputy.
The change comes as the Manager of Safety's Office investigates Police Chief Robert White and Deputy Police Chief Matt Murray for their actions regarding an open records request from a sexual assault case in 2016.
"This investigation had no bearing on this decision here. Stephanie O'Malley is not being asked to move along. She was ready for a change, and I needed a certain skill set in my office," said Hancock.
O'Malley will assist the mayor with getting minority and women-owned businesses involved in city projects like renovations at the Great Hall at Denver International Airport and the National Western Stock Show complex.
"This is something that I've been contemplating for a while, bringing someone in who will put a birdseye on these opportunities," said Hancock.
City ordinance requires city projects to hire a certain number of minority and women-owned businesses. The quota is based on each project. The Office of Economic Development already handles this, however.
"We look forward to additional city resources to assist our small and minority firms in gaining access to these opportunities," said a spokesman for the Office of Economic Development.
O'Malley was also Denver’s first elected county clerk and recorder from 2007 to 2011. Then-mayor John Hickenlooper appointed O’Malley the director of the Department of Excise and Licenses from 2003 to 2007. O'Malley is also the daughter of former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb.
Riggs was hired by the department last year as deputy director. Before that, he served as the police chief in Indianapolis. There, he was the subject of an Indianapolis Star report alleging the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department failed to review 19 police shootings.
When asked about this during a news conference on Monday, Riggs said he disagreed with the report.
Riggs also worked with White in Louisville, Ky. Riggs will now be in charge of the office that concludes the investigation into White and Murray.
"I can tell you that when the report comes out, and I look at it, I will give my recommendation regarding the chief, since he's a mayoral appointee, to the mayor, and we'll have that conversation," said Riggs.
"The Manager of Safety will not receive the responsibility of disciplining the chief, in the event that the investigation calls for that, that will come to may desk," said Hancock.
O'Malley, who will make a six-figure salary, will be paid from the Denver Public Works budget.