Denver advocacy group cries foul after denied city contract
Author: Adam McCoy - February 26, 2018 - Updated: February 26, 2018
Since 2010, the Community Reentry Project (CRP) has offered transitional services within Denver’s jail system under a city contract.
Recently, that contract was allowed to expire and Denver officials considered awarding that pact to a new provider.
But CRP’s leader is crying foul.
CRP Executive Director Lisa Calderon claims Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s office denied her organization the contract because she has been a “vocal critic” of the mayor, FOX31 reports. Calderon alleged a secret June memo produced by top city officials pushed to deny CPR the contract because of her comments on jail reform.
Calderon, who made the comments during a public hearing last week, co-chairs a ballot initiative campaign to make the Denver County sheriff an elected official, as opposed to an official appointed by the mayor.
Hancock has denied the assertions that his office pushed to deny CRP the contract as retaliation, arguing rather it was the result of a competitive bid process.
Some Denver City Council members like Stacie Gilmore expressed concerns about the allegations, calling it “very troubling,” according to FOX31. GIlmore was part of a city committee slated to consider a $550,000 contract with La Raza Services. But after hearing Calderon’s grievance, the committee voted 5-1 to delay the proposal.
According to city documents, La Raza would have assumed responsibility for the Transition from Jail-to-Community (TJC) program within the Denver jail system, which promotes access to services, resources and supportive relationships in an effort to reduce recidivism.