Kimberly Fresquez was fired last week from her job overseeing the cadet training program for Denver’s public safety services.
The city alleged that she had cursed at cadets and patted men on the butt, among other accusations. In a newly released letter to the city, Fresquez offered a few explanations.
Regarding the cursing:
A termination letter included reports about Fresquez cursing at or around cadets, including a couple instances of “bitch” and “bitches.”
In particular: “When one cadet showed you a high school photo of herself, you said, ‘You look like a bitch,’” the letter states.
Fresquez contends that she said the young woman had looked like a “rocker chick.” She also noted that her use of a dental retainer could cause people to misunderstand some of her words.
She acknowledged cursing about situations, but not at cadets, attributing her language to her time in the military.
Regarding the tattoo incident:
The termination letter accused Fresquez of lifting a female cadet’s shorts to reveal a thigh tattoo, and then saying, “yikes.”
In her letter, Fresquez said that didn’t happen. She said she asked to see the tattoo, and doesn’t remember what comment she made, she wrote.
“I view it as a form of art work,” she wrote of tattoos.
Regarding the allegation that she singled out a high-ranking fire official’s son for criticism:
A male cadet with serious connections came through the program during Fresquez’s tenure. This guy’s dad and godfather are both chiefs in the fire department, according to Fresquez’s letter.
This cadet apparently did not make the cut for a job at the Denver Fire Department, and Fresquez allegedly told him and others that he shouldn’t “go running to” his dad, according to the termination letters.
Fresquez wrote that she hadn’t meant to mock him, only to soften the blow. She denied that she had mocked the cadet for getting a new truck with his father’s help.
“In fact, my dad purchased a new car for me in 2009,” she added.
Still, she noted: “Legacy cadets historically are more difficult to supervise because if things don’t work out the way they think they should they often go to the parent and the parent may often intervene and use their connections throughout the Dept. of Safety. Senior Cadet Leader … is known to tell other cadets who his father is and what position he holds in the department.”
The letters don’t reveal which fire-department dad and son we’re talking about.
Regarding the allegation that she slapped a cadet on the back of the head:
“I did not slap a cadet on the back of the head.”
Regarding the alleged butt patting:
“I would occasionally pat cadets on the back and tell them they were doing a good job or tell them how proud I was of their accomplishment.”
No slapping happened, she wrote. Fresquez has a lawyer and plans to appeal the case, the Denver Post reported. We’ll update with any further comment from her side or the city.