Denver councilors show up for safety committee after half were no-shows

DENVER -- Denver7 first reported on city leaders who were no-shows at an important safety committee meeting last week at city hall.

Denver's government watchdog recently issued a report, which found city officials who investigated inmate Michael Marshall's death, failed miserably. Marshall died at the hands of deputies in 2015, and the case cost taxpayers nearly $5 million to settle.

On the day city council members were supposed to hear about the mistakes highlighted in the new report, half of them didn't show up. Councilors Stacie Gilmore, Debbie Ortega, and Rafael Espinoza were no-shows.

Denver's Safety, Housing, Education and Homelessness committee met again on Wednesday morning and Denver7 found four of the six councilors on the committee were present.

Elected officials Debbie Ortega, Rafael Espinoza, Robin Kniech, and Paul Kashmann were all in attendance at the most recent meeting. While council members Paul Lopez and Stacie Gilmore, who also missed last week's meeting, were not there.

Two other city council members, including council president Albus Brooks, also attended Wednesday's meeting. The focus was on a new habitat for humanity project that will offer affordable homes for those impacted by the interstate 70 expansion project.

The safety committee did not discuss the independent monitor's report about Marshall's death.

Councilman Paul Kashmann, who chairs the committee, said he has asked the sheriff and department of safety to attend an upcoming meeting to answer city leader's questions about the watchdog's report.

Until then, Denver7 will keep holding elected leaders accountable on this issue.

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