A former member of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s security detail claimed the Democratic politician sexually harassed her while she was on his team, according to a report.
Leslie Branch-Wise, a police detective in Colorado’s capital, told KMGH that the alleged comments and inappropriate text messages happened while she worked for him between 2011 and 2012.
In the texts, which she provided to the outlet, Hancock allegedly made comments on her physical appearance, once telling her, after spotting her on television at an NBA game, that she looked “sexy.”
“Enjoy!! You better bring them some luck!” the text said, according to KMGH. “You look sexy in all that black! LOL!”
In another text, Hancock appeared to comment on her hairstyle, allegedly writing, “loved the short doo. You made it hard on a brotha to keep it correct everyday.”
While Hancock told the news station he didn’t think the comments were harassment, he apologized, saying he “blurred the lines” between their work relationship and being friends.
“Six years ago, when Detective Leslie Branch-Wise was on my detail, we became friends,” Hancock said. “And I blurred the lines between being a friend and being a boss. 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 said.
Branch-Wise told KMGH that she wasn’t planning on filing a claim against the mayor.
“I just want people to know that I’m a woman, I have children, and I’m a victim of sexual harassment,” Branch-Wise told the outlet. “It made me physically sick. It was extremely scary. And I dealt with it at that time the best way that I could.”
Fearing punishment, Branch-Wise told the outlet that she never confronted the mayor about the comments. Even now, in her current job at the Denver Police Department, she said she was concerned about retribution.
But Hancock insisted that she had nothing to worry about, saying, “there’s no revenge here.”
He added, “She has served our city well as a Denver police officer. She continues to serve our city well. There’s no revenge here. I hope to apologize to her, if she will allow me to do that.”
Hancock’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ requests for comment.