Home News Denver mayor accused of sexually harassing detective working security detail

Denver mayor accused of sexually harassing detective working security detail

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A veteran Denver police officer is accusing Mayor Michael Hancock of sexually harassing her while she was working on his security detail, and she has proof.

Denver Police Detective Leslie Branch-Wise claims Hancock made inappropriate comments and sent her explicit text messages in 2012, such as “You made it hard on a brotha to keep it correct every day.”

In another text, he asked her if she would take up pole dancing.

“So I just watched this story on women taking pole dancing classes,” he stated. “Have you ever taken one? Why do women take the course? If not have you ever considered taking one and why? Your thoughts?”  When she didn’t reply, the mayor continued, “Be careful, I’m curious. LOL!”

When asked what the pole dancing text meant to her, Branch-Wise noted that it was, “kind of that he doesn’t respect me as an employee.”

“It was a hard time in my life,” Branch-Wise said. “I didn’t have anyone to tell, I didn’t have anyone to talk to. That’s my boss.”

Hancock has since apologized, claiming it was simply a matter of getting to comfortable with one another.

“Six years ago, when Detective Leslie Branch-Wise was on my detail, we became friends. And I blurred the lines between being a friend and being a boss,” he told The Denver Channel. “Our text exchanges became too casual, too familiar, and last week I learned, after six years, that they hurt her and offended her. I am here to accept the responsibility for that and to apologize.”

Hancock is married with kids, and apologized to them, too.

“I hope my wife and my children accept my apology. And this city, who I love very much, and the people that I wake up every day to serve and to give everything I have, know that this is not the man, that is not the character of the man who I am. I made a mistake. I’m human. I never purport to be perfect,” Hancock said.

Branch-Wise has no intention of filing a complaint or initiating a lawsuit.

“I just want people to know that I’m a woman, I have children, and I’m a victim of sexual harassment,” she said. “It made me physically sick. It was extremely scary. And I dealt with it at that time the best way that I could.”

The detective was reportedly inspired to speak out by the trending #MeToo movement, which involves women speaking out against sexual assault and harassment.

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