Oct 21, 2021 - News

Mayor Hancock's administration protects two top appointees

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock speaks at an event last October. Photo: Alayna Alvarez/Axios

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock's administration is insulating some of his top people to help prevent them from being ousted when his term ends in 2023.

What's happening: Hancock appointees Scott Gilmore and John Martinez — two deputy managers in the city's Parks and Recreation Department — saw their job classifications change last month to a status that largely shields them from removal, CBS4 reports.

  • The reshuffling also resulted in pay increases of nearly $40,000, bumping their salaries to $170,000 each.

Why it matters: The reclassification from deputy managers to career service authority positions means Denver's next mayor would have a difficult time replacing Gilmore and Martinez.

What they're saying: Council member Amanda Sawyer told CBS4 the Hancock administration's move is "shady" and an act of "cronyism."

The other side: Parks and Recreation director Happy Haynes — who had the two jobs reclassified and is a mayoral appointee herself — defended the transition to CBS4 as a "business decision … to maintain progress on key game plan initiatives."

The intrigue: Gilmore's shift comes after he faced questions of funneling taxpayer money for a new part to a construction company run by Gilmore's brother.

  • Gilmore is also married to City Council president Stacie Gilmore.

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