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Woman who accused Hancock of sending suggestive texts signed document saying he never sexually harassed her

Branch-Wise came forward last year saying she received sexually inappropriate texts from the mayor between Feb. 2012 and April 2012 and felt sexually harassed.

DENVER — The woman who accused Mayor Michael Hancock of sexual harassment last year signed a sworn affidavit in 2013 that said she had never been sexually harassed by the mayor.

Leslie Branch-Wise signed that document six years ago when she was involved in a settlement with the city over sexual harassment claims she made against the mayor's friend Wayne McDonald.

In it, she agreed that: "No one else in the mayor's office, including the mayor or any other appointee or staff member or any other department or agency, was or has been involved in any such misconduct towards me."

The city settled with Branch-Wise $75,000. 

Last year, Branch-Wise came forward saying she received sexually inappropriate texts from the mayor between Feb. 2012 and April 2012 and felt sexually harassed.

RELATED | Mayor Hancock apologizes for sexually suggestive texts from six years ago

Among the texts she claims Hancock sent her was one that said, "you look sexy in all that black, lol"

RELATED | City councilman calls for investigation into Hancock sexual harassment allegations

Last year, the mayor apologized for sending the texts, saying he was "too casual".

He never admitted at the time his behavior was sexual harassment.

The 2013 document became public on Tuesday after 9Wants to Know asked the city about sexual harassment settlements. Jamie Giellis, who is running against the mayor in a runoff election, held a press conference accusing Hancock of "fostering a 'poisonous culture' of sexual harassment."

In response to questions about that news conference during a debate Tuesday night Giellis said, “Somebody has to stand up for those women.” 

RELATED | Giellis, Hancock spar over Denver development, homelessness in 9NEWS mayoral debate

The city released the document to show Hancock's behavior didn't have any connection to that prior settlement involving his friend.

9NEWS reached out to Branch-Wise Tuesday about the release of the document now. She said in a text, "My response and thoughts are let's keep the focus on the issue at hand and that is the sexual harassment and admitted inappropriate conduct by the mayor."

9Wants to Know filed an open records request last year when Branch-Wise initially came forward, but this document was not released at that time.

In a release Tuesday the city said: 

"The affidavit was not disclosed or produced during the lawsuit because it was investigatory material and was never the subject of any discovery requests. After Wayne McDonald filed a notice of claim with the City in August 2018, the affidavit became critical to rebutting Mr. McDonald's claim and was referenced publicly in statements made by Tom Rice to the press and in correspondence with Mr. McDonald's counsel. Pursuant to CORA, materials obtained in the course of a sexual harassment investigation may be released publicly to contradict inaccurate statements. Although the sworn statement was referenced publicly many months ago, no one has requested it until now."

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