Column: De León embodied the American dream. After racist audio leak, he’s living a political nightmare
De León’s life began to unravel, as a result of what an attorney general’s office says was racist and sexist language on his Facebook page. (Michael Graczyk / The Denver Post via AP)
Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett on Thursday publicly accused Denver Mayor Michael Hancock of conspiring with the FBI to investigate former state Sen. Ray De León, whom the mayor has repeatedly criticized.
The district attorney’s office said during a news conference that it had received a “sophisticated,” racially motivated audio recording of Hancock’s speech at the opening of a public meeting in Boulder on Tuesday.
Hancock had called the recording “a racist lie” and later that evening posted on Facebook that the incident had been “set up by outside forces who have nothing to do with this city.”
Hancock later took to Twitter and Facebook to blame the incident on the mayor and his “mafia of Denver appointees.”
I’m outraged that the Boulder Community Council is promoting a private meeting in their public meeting that promotes racism and sexism. We should demand that this event stop and that we have a public meeting. It is disgraceful.
Garnett said in order to clear his name, he would release the full audio tape.
“This event needs to stop,” he said. “It is absolutely no surprise that outside forces were trying to destroy this mayor’s political career and that this is part of a conspiracy between this mayor and the FBI. This is not the work of outsiders trying to stop this or interfere with our democracy.”
The district attorney’s office said it did not confirm that the recording was made on city time, but did confirm that Hancock was attending a meeting on Tuesday to open the City Council meeting.
Later Thursday, the district attorney’s office said there had been no evidence of any inappropriate language spoken at the meeting, though three of the five speakers used what the district attorney’s office alleged were sexist and racist terms.
Hancock said he was not at the meeting to discuss the issues raised at the public hearing, and said he had no knowledge of what was