Lisabeth Pérez Castle selected to Denver’s top police oversight position

Lisabeth Pérez Castle, a former public defender, has been selected to helm Denver’s top police oversight position.

The head of Denver’s Office of the Independent Monitor — which oversees the city’s police and sheriff internal affairs investigations — has been vacant since the previous chief, Nick Mitchell, left the position early last year.

“I am honored to be selected as the next monitor and I thank the Citizen Oversight Board and the community for putting their trust in me,” Castle said in a statement Monday evening. “I pledge to work tirelessly for justice, transparency, and accountability in policing and look forward to collaborating with law enforcement and the community to further strengthen oversight in Denver.”

Castle worked as a Colorado public defender for a dozen years before moving into private practice in 2000. She pledged to prioritize a push for funding for the office, improving access to law enforcement records and engaging with the community.

She beat out Mary Claire Opler, who oversees internal affairs investigations in Sacramento, for the position.

“Castle brings with her a wealth of experience practicing law and managing a law firm, deep ties in our community, and an outstanding reputation for building trust and respect,” the Citizen Oversight Board said in a news release. “We are confident that she is up to the task and look forward to working closely with her as she takes over leadership of the Office.”

The board, created in 2004, consists of nine community members and is tasked with issuing reports on high-profile incidents, such as the city’s police response to the George Floyd protests two years ago.

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