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Denver mayor's office in hot water over discrimination complaint

Some of our readers may have heard by now about the problems brewing in the Denver mayor's office. One of the mayor's longtime aides was fired on May 21, and it was recently reported that the reason behind the firing was an allegation of sexual harassment.

It appears the controversy surrounds some comments made by the aide to a female Denver police officer. Of course, if the allegations are true, they could cause some blowback for the mayor's office, even if the aide's employment was terminated. In one of the more recent developments in the case, reports have surfaced that a voice recording exists that could confirm the comments made by the mayor's former aide.

One local news channel has made a request to see the documents and recordings involved in the investigation, but the mayor's office has declined to provide them. The mayor's office claims that even a request under the Colorado Open Records Act is prohibited because complaints regarding allegations of sexual harassment are not subject to release under that law.

Employment law often differentiates between public and private employees. For instance, public employees, like the female police officer, often have to follow an internal process to pursue a claim of discrimination. Private employees, on the other hand, must also follow a process, but they have to report a claim of discrimination to the Colorado Civil Rights Division or to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before any civil lawsuit can be filed. Such a complaint must be filed within 300 days of the alleged discrimination.

Time will tell how the mayor's office will handle this investigation, and Denver-area residents will want to keep any eye on this case as it moves forward.

Source: 9news.com, "Alleged sexual harassment was recorded," Jace Larson, June 22, 2012

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