Review launched into dispute between police and DA over woman's arrest

DENVER — Denver’s Department of Public Safety confirmed it is now conducting a review into the circumstances surrounding a dispute between the former District Attorney and the police department over a woman’s arrest in a sexual assault case.

The executive director of safety for the City of Denver has called for an independent third party review to also include the department's apparent cover-up by not responding to public records request asking for a copy of the letter. 

As Denver7 Investigates first reported in February, the dispute began after the arrest of Angiella Arnot in May of 2016. Arnot was arrested along with then-Denver police officer Davin Munk and accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

The district attorney, Mitch Morrissey, declined to press charges in the case, and weeks later wrote a scathing letter to DPD chief Robert White criticizing the department’s actions in arresting Arnot. Chief White sent a response letter to Morrissey, vowing to follow up.

MORE | See the scathing letter from Morrissey. 

The dispute came to light after term-limited Morrissey left office in January, when Denver7 Investigates learned DPD failed to turn over Morrissey’s letter and White’s response after a public records request from the police union for all correspondence between the two men about the Arnot case.

DPD released the records only after Denver7 Investigates began asking questions -- more than a month after the union requested the letters. DPD explained the discrepancy by saying the chief’s secretary found the letters after overlooking them previously.

In response to Denver7’s investigation, Executive Director of Public Safety Stephanie Y. O'Malley said the agency is launching a review of the situation.

"As Executive Director of Safety, it is my duty to provide civilian oversight to the Denver Police Department. As such, I have decided to initiate an outside, third party investigation into this matter to ensure transparency and accountability. The Office of the Independent Monitor will monitor the third party investigation, which will include the arrest associated with former Denver police officer Devin [sic] Munk's internal affairs case, and the subsequent handling of a related open records request."

It does not appear any similar reviews have been conducted within the Denver Police Department. Denver7 Investigates requested any records related to internal investigations about Arnot’s arrest and the ensuing open records denial. DPD responded that no such records exist.

Following reports earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Matt Murray sent the following statement to Denver7 Chief Investigator Tony Kovaleski:

"Chief White and I welcome an independent third party investigation into these allegations. This investigation will disclose the truth of this matter and will put it to rest.  We have been very clear and transparent with the facts in this case." 

MORE | See original reporting on the arrest of Arnot.

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