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Secret tapes reveal Florence Police Chief knew of sex scandal years before taking action

FLORENCE, Colo. (KRDO) -- Seven Florence City Council now-public executive tapes obtained by 13 Investigates paint a picture of a government in distress while amid a city hall sexual harassment scandal.

Among the struggles, the elected officials are trying to figure out how to address their police chief's knowledge of alleged crimes, poorly stored police evidence, and allegations of nepotism.

The Florence City Council announced it violated Colorado Open Meetings Laws last Friday after a notice of litigation was submitted by former Florence court clerk Nicole Phillips. Phillips requested the executive session tapes after the council failed to properly announce its executive sessions behind closed doors.

The tapes obtained by 13 Investigates were all recorded after the council quietly fired City Manager Mike Patterson in August 2021.

The first executive session recording we obtained is from the day the disgraced city manager accused of stalking and assaulting women he supervised was arrested at the Denver International Airport last November. 

13 Investigates uncovered a pattern of abuse by Patterson in a city hall sexual harassment scandal that spanned several years.

A recording from January 10, 2022, Florence City Council executive session reveals various city issues including transparency concerns, lawsuits, and multiple investigations into city employees.

A major point of contention in the city is how the city council wants to address its police chief's knowledge of the fired city manager's alleged sexual harassment of women years before his agency investigated the claims. 

We've reached out to Florence Police Chief Shane Prickett for a statement, he told 13 Investigates he has "no comment" at this time.

Below is the entire recording from January 10, 2022.

13 Investigates is still reviewing the six other recordings and will continue to report on the secret tapes and what they reveal.

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Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is the Assistant News Director for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.

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