By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
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By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
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By Melanie Asmar
This is what City of Aurora employee Anita Burkhart told the Aurora police in 1997 about Becky Beckler, the acting manager of Original Aurora Renewal, a department in the city's Office of Community Development:
"Becky was stalking him. At work, Becky was just Becky. Her personality would change when it was after work. She was the worst when she was acting manager of OAR. Her style of dress changed. She wore bright colors since Scott started working for Community Development. She also started wearing makeup and fixing her hair. She also lost weight since Scott started."
Becky Beckler began working as a temp for the City of Aurora in February 1989, making just $6 an hour. After being hired on as a permanent employee, she slogged through the ranks as a city planner and a senior planner. By 1995, she was serving as the acting manager of the community-development division and was overseeing the disbursement of millions of dollars of federal housing money and various grants; she also helped needy citizens secure low-interest loans for housing.
"A hard worker" was how one fellow employee described her.
In July 1997, she was making $22.32 an hour as the acting manager of OAR, the city's unofficial cheerleading squad that rallies for "community self-esteem/image, personal/collective responsibility, and social/economic vitality," according to the city's Web site.
That summer, however, a 32-year-old employee in her department named Scott Berg told his supervisor that Beckler, who was 39 at the time, had been sexually harassing him. His supervisor recommended to Berg that the matter "should be taken further." Berg called the Aurora police, and an investigation ensued.
Berg told Aurora detective Dana Hatfield that Beckler began harassing him soon after he was hired by the City of Aurora in July 1995. He said Beckler first began leaving notes on his computer in 1996 and then on his car -- while it was parked in front of his Lakewood house. He provided Hatfield with notes, letters and e-mails from Beckler that he had saved, all of which expressed her interest in him. One read, "I admire your body from afar."
When Beckler started calling him at home, where he lived with his girlfriend, he told her to stop. When she gave Berg, an avid bicyclist, two posters from the Tour de France, he quickly returned them. By every indication, Berg gave Beckler the Heisman -- an unmistakable stiff-arm -- and declined Beckler's advances.
According to Hatfield's report, which is now part of a federal lawsuit filed by Beckler, Berg's co-workers tried to protect him from Beckler's advances by purposely soiling his reputation when she was around, dismissing him as "a ladies' man" and an "asshole." "They did this to Becky as a ploy to get her to leave Scott alone," Hatfield's notes read.
Beckler, however, insisted it was Berg who "welcomed a consensual relationship." She told Hatfield that Berg would often walk by her office door, pretending to retrieve needless office supplies from a nearby file cabinet, just to "show off his body." She claimed Berg entered her office, told her he was erect and confessed that he "put a sock over it."
She even recalled a time that Berg's parents visited the office and stopped by her open door for an introduction. "Introducing his parents to me in my office does support a welcomeness between Scott Berg and myself," she said.
And this is what Beckler said about employee Burkhart: "Anita Burkhart indicated in her testimony that I would fix my hair in order to attract Scott. I have been going to a quote/unquote designer hair salon for more than ten years, Interhair of Cherry Creek, to get a contemporary cut and highlight. When Gary Montana (a partner at Interhair) wanted to go out on his own, I followed my hair stylist, Mishka, to his salon and thus divided my time between Interhair and Gary Montana salons. When Mishka left, I went to Kendall at Interhair. I am more than willing to produce check-payment copies back to 1992, and can go back further if need be, to show that I've been going to a designer salon long before Scott Berg was living in Colorado, and that I am and have been a woman who spends money at the salon for myself, and not just because Scott showed up."
Beckler continued: "Anita indicated in her testimony that I would dress in bright colors in order to attract Scott. As much as I like to wear Jones, Claiborne, Brooks, Pendleton, I do not have a fashion budget to change my entire wardrobe. I usually like to buy a piece or two of the latest fashion trend. What I bought was one orange blouse and scarf and dark-colored square-toed pumps. Additionally, I can produce an article from a fashion magazine which states that bright colors were a fashion trend during this time period. With all due respect to Anita, Anita generally dresses in jeans, tennis shoes and T-shirts, which she doesn't tuck in. I don't know who does her hair. May I suggest the possibility of jealousy and a serious lack of witness credibility."
Hatfield didn't buy much of Beckler's story, and in his final report, he pointed out that Beckler inappropriately used her position as a manager to access the city's registry to locate Berg's phone number and address.