Editorial: Transparency a must for Denver’s new safety director

The Denver Post: Troy Riggs, Denver’s new director of public safety, is stepping into a tough position, made even dicier by the pending investigation headed his way into the conduct of both the chief and deputy chief of police.

We wish Riggs luck in navigating these tricky waters the first few months on the job. Especially given his history of working under Police Chief Robert White in other jurisdictions and the potential for the pending outcome to look, well, a little rigged. Transparency regarding the evidence and recommendations that come to his desk will be of the utmost importance.

The entire investigation to date has been a boondoggle. In question is how White and his second in command, Matt Murray, treated a letter from the Denver district attorney critical of how Murray handled a case. Critics say that the letter should have prompted internal affairs to look into Murray’s handling of the case, and that later Murray and White were deceptive when the department was asked to release it under a public records request.

More than two months have passed since investigators concluded their work on the case — an outside inquiry that was launched in March 2017 — and still the public has heard nothing.

Riggs’ predecessor as the head of Denver’s police, sheriff’s and fire departments, Stephanie O’Malley, made the smart decision almost a year ago “to initiate an outside, third-party investigation into this matter to ensure transparency and accountability.” Additionally, she sent the investigation to the Denver Sheriff Department conduct review office for additional evaluation — where the investigation is currently stalled.

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