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Ron Perea resigns from Manager of Safety job as police-beating scandals escalate

Did he jump or was he pushed? That's question one sparked by word that Denver Manager of Safety Ron Perea has resigned amid mounting negative publicity about alleged police brutality.

Perea, you'll recall, found nothing wrong with the brutal 2009 beating of Michael DeHerrera, who could be seen on video using a cell phone before being sapped. Add to that shocking incidents involving James Watkins, Eric Winfield, Marvin Booker, etc., and it was clear someone would be getting a bus pass for under the wheels.

The odds that Perea's departure will quell the controversy are microscopic -- but with John Hickenlooper's gubernatorial campaign moving full steam ahead, doing nothing wasn't an option. Not that the release from the mayor's office confirms Hick as the trigger man. Here it is:

Manager of Safety Ron Perea resigns

DENVER, CO -- Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 -- Mayor John Hickenlooper today accepted the resignation of Manager of Safety Ron Perea.

"Ron came to Denver with all of the right credentials and experience to lead the Department of Safety," Hickenlooper said. "He feels that the events of the past few days have limited his ability to gain community confidence. Ron is a true professional who has spent his entire career unselfishly serving the public and his country. We wish him well as he decides his next steps."

Perea's resignation is effective Aug. 31. Deputy Manager of Safety Mary Malatesta will take over as interim Manager of Safety until a new Manager can be found. No timeline has been created for a search process.

The whole story? Not even close. But you can bet more of it will be emerging in the coming days and weeks.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts