Gov. John Hickenlooper came the defense of embattled Human Services Director Reggie Bicha earlier this month after 87 lawmakers called for changes in leadership at the department. That amount of bipartisan agree is rarely heard of in politics, so when Hick stood by Bicha those in the chattering class were a bit shocked.
Shortly after the letter from legislators was made public, The Denver Post reported that Hick had also received complaints from the state’s network of mental health clinics complaining about Bicha’s office. And, that Sen. Morgan Carroll had repeatedly met with the governor’s chief of staff to discuss concerns with Bicha’s leadership.
Clearly, there was a pattern emerging behind closed doors of extensive concerns and dissatisfaction with the way Human Services was being managed. Yet, Hickenlooper and his top aides did nothing. Instead, they left in their wake a litany of missed opportunities to make changes.
The PR for the crisis hasn’t even been managed well, much less the actual crisis. Bicha didn’t even speak in his own defense until nearly two weeks after widespread complaints against him were made public. While his mea culpa was well delivered, it was too little too late.