Employees accuse former Florence city manager of sexual misconduct

Crime

FLORENCE, Colo. — The State of Colorado and Fremont County have released the affidavit detailing the complaints behind former Florence City Manager Michael Patterson’s arrest.

The affidavit includes numerous interviews with women who described being approached and harassed by Patterson while they worked alongside him, or who heard about other female employees’ experiences.

Former Florence City Manager
Michael Patterson

Interviews included information that indicated Patterson purchased alcohol for an underage employee, sent inappropriate messages, and made inappropriate comments in-person to several city employees.

In addition to inappropriate comments and messages, the affidavit also revealed the city of Florence had been successfully sued by a former city employee following allegations of sexual harassment by Patterson. That lawsuit also detailed accounts of harassment, unwanted sexual advances, and targeting.

An arrest warrant was issued for Patterson on Nov. 9 by the Florence Police Department. He was captured Nov. 15 at Denver International Airport by the Denver Police Department with the help of the Department of Homeland Security.

His charges, which date back to Aug. 2021, included stalking, sexual contact with no consent, and providing alcohol to a minor.

Patterson’s status hearing in front of Judge Michael Meyrick is set for Nov. 30.

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