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Denver mayor’s staff being investigated over media leak about terminated Denver airport renovation contract

“It would be irresponsible to not follow up on those kinds of matters,” said City Attorney Kristin Bronson. “We’re simply doing our job.”

Denver International Airport on July 19, 2019, which was forecast to be the hub's busiest day ever. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

By Brian Maas, CBS4

Denver’s city attorney is conducting an internal investigation into about a dozen of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s appointees and confidantes, attempting to learn who may have notified the media on Aug. 12 that the city was terminating the contract of Great Hall Partners for redevelopment of the Denver International Airport terminal.

DIA administrators announced the termination the next day, Aug. 13.

Multiple sources familiar with the probe told CBS4 of the unusual investigation, which is being conducted by the Denver City Attorney’s office.

“It would be irresponsible to not follow up on those kinds of matters,” said City Attorney Kristin Bronson. “We’re simply doing our job.”

Security lines at Denver International Airport on July 3, 2019. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

On the night of Aug. 12, Hancock decided to terminate the contract with Ferrovial Airports and Great Hall Partners for the terminal renovation and management of the facility. The contract was worth an estimated $1.8 billion, the largest in Denver history. The terminal renovation itself accounted for about $650 million. Great Hall Partners and the city had been arguing for months about cost overruns and change orders on the project.

CBS4 learned of the termination decision Aug. 12 and began making calls and inquires to confirm the information. CBS4 broke the story of the contract termination the next morning, Aug. 13, several hours later the city officially announced the firing at a major news conference.

Jeff Roberts, with the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, suggested the phone investigation could amount to a chilling effect for city employees.

Read more at denver.cbslocal.com.