Denver Sheriff's Department under review: City Council expecting update Tuesday

DENVER - Denver's City Council is getting an update on a review of the embattled sheriff's department.

The City Council was scheduled to get a briefing Tuesday on plans to investigate operations at the department. Earlier this month the city agreed to pay $3.25 million to a former inmate who sued over abuse in the jail.

Jamal Hunter said a deputy ignored his screams while inmates attacked him and scalded his genitals in July 2011. Cameras captured another deputy choking Hunter 12 days later.

The settlement says a third party must investigate the sheriff's department, including its hiring practices and the way it disciplines deputies. An investigator will also review the city attorney's office, which was accused of misconduct related to Hunter's lawsuit.

Earlier this month, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock released an outline of a "top-to-bottom review" of the department.

Hancock's office announced that an executive committee has been established and is now directed to oversee task forces that are already reviewing policy and procedures, training, discipline and staffing at the Sheriff's Department. 

Additionally, Hancock announced a contract with former FBI agent-in-charge in Colorado and public safety expert, James H. Davis. He was hired to "provide independent expertise to the Mayor."

Denver has also selected a law firm to review litigation practices of the City Attorney's Office in other lawsuits.

Denver Safety Director Stephanie O'Malley said she's striving to create a fair but efficient system for reviewing more than 100 disciplinary cases at the sheriff's department.


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