5 Denver Rescue Mission Scandals You Haven't Heard
Updated: Oct 1
In this post, we discover 5 Denver Rescue Mission Scandals you haven't heard about.
Denver Rescue Mission Threatened a Sexual Assault Allegation
In our first article, I posted a voice recording of CEO Brad Meuli admitting his subordinate, Steve Walkup, threatened to level a false sexual assault allegation against me.
Brad referred to these statements only as "aggressive." I would later be terminated from the Denver Rescue Mission.
Let's bring those who have not heard part 1 up to speed. My supervisor, Steve Walkup, then VP at the mission, had been accused of racism by another black employee.
The rescue mission paid this person over $100K when the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) became involved. A simple FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request will suffice to prove this claim.
When mission leadership came to me with this allegation, as an African American myself, I refuted it! I couldn't believe the Steve I knew would do such a thing. Certain black employees felt me out with respect to where I stood.
Steve said he was a 'christian', had recently promoted me over much more qualified white candidates, so it couldn't be true, right?
Just a few years after defending Steve to other blacks, my turn in the meat grinder of Steve's struggles with inequality arrived. As my boss, Steve often told me to evict homeless families from the housing unit.
I unapologetically did so.
A Homeless Interracial Couple was Victimized
On a cold December night, Steve made this demand but I could find no cause against the family warranting eviction. The family consisted of a black man and his white wife. This guy was mega annoying but had broken no rules.
Steve said: "I don't care. I want them out!"
Since I couldn't find cause, I refused. I understood my employment could have been terminated but it wasn't the right thing to do. I had no previous struggles evicting families. If they broke what were simple rules, they warranted it.
However, this family had not.
I told Steve: "I am not throwing them out sir. They haven't done anything to warrant it." This angered Steve but he didn't fire me on the spot which was surprising. What I didn't understand was that since the mission had just paid another black employee a discrimination settlement, Steve's hands were tied.
My refusal angered Steve. The man who had been so awesome with me prior was now gone. In his place stood a creature I didn't recognize. I knew this was the man the other black employee had encountered!
He came into my office a few days later and said: "Why don't you just leave? Nobody wants you here anymore." By the time he said this, I understood inequality was a strategic imperative in his life.
I will explain how white men like he, Brad, and the rest can do "good deeds" for people of color and hate us at the same time.
My response was: "Why don't you leave? I grew up in foster care so I am used to being in place and staying where I am not wanted." Immediately, he said: "If you don't leave, I am not sure what Liz might say you did to her."
Our nation's history with such threats have resulted in the deaths of countless black men. These African Americans were lynched, castrated, hanged, and burned alive for such false allegations.
During this entire sorry episode, this was the only time I felt afraid.
I wasn't concerned that I would be arrested, fired, etc. My fright was my wife, and other real Christians in the organization, would think I was a religious hypocrite and not serious about Jesus.
Simple, but true.
White Women Who Fake Fear of Black Men
At the height of this spiritual warfare, a young white woman named Liz was already struggling with her own supposed fear of black men. She would use flirtation, smiles, etc. to get what she wanted from her superiors.
This was another pervasive issue at the Denver Rescue Mission. Brad was married and old enough to be these young women's father. Yet he would would play along with this foolishness instead of correcting it.
There was a closed sound booth in the office I occupied. Brad once went in it with his Public Relations Director named Alexa. I overheard their conversation, the "giggles" etc. There was nothing untoward in conversation.
I want to be fair and not "suggest" something that didn't happen. During the time I knew Alexa, she conducted herself as a Godly woman!
However, the closet had no windows and the CEO of the Denver Rescue Mission was in a 4ft*4ft closet "giggling" with a young woman. Brad constantly challenged us in this area yet did the same?
Years prior, he demanded windows in former windowless offices all over the mission. He called this "accountability. BRAVO! Now, however, Brad was in a windowless closet with a woman GIGGLING?
I went to His office on one occasion.
When I arrived, he was having lunch with an employee named 'Greta.' Neither noticed me outside the door. As I listened, it was obvious there was something "more" between them than work.
This was commonplace with Brad. In fairness to Steve, I NEVER witnessed him conducting himself in such a manner with young woman. Steve was equally cruel to everyone.
Liz, and her feminine wiles, didn't work with me. Let me be clear: I am bi-racial and dated white women for years prior to marrying my African American woman. However, spiritually, I was no longer "that" guy who would use these "play things" for my wicked purposes.
There was nothing extraordinary about Liz either. She was manipulative and having dated white women, I knew the tricks and was not impressed.
This pushed her to a place of pretending to be afraid of me. I was one of the few men she had met whom she couldn't charm. I am not saying Liz wanted something from ME in an untoward way.
I have no doubt she didn't. However, that doesn't stop these sorts from trying to get their way. It was simply the old: "crying to get out of a ticket" trick they pull on police officers. Black women do this to!
So hostile was Liz, that I was forbidden from entering her work space during normal business hours. Read the below actual email from her boss (Tom) and mine (Hugh).
I Was Banned from Doing my Job
When you read this, remember I had not been accused of anything.
I was the Facility Director, in charge of the entire 96,000 feet of space and was told "stay away although you haven't been accused." The indignity of this overt racism still hurts today.
For those who may not understand, imagine your boss said: "You better make this sale or you will be coached and counseled, for job performance issues. However, I am not providing you the contact information of the buyer you need to fulfil this task".
What would your response be?
Brad Meuli, Steve, and later new Vice President, Hugh Burns, told me there was a place in the facility, which I managed, that I could not go. This directive was based on nothing more a young white girl's desire to get even.
Liz was what they thought of as a "pretty young blond white woman." I was the scary black savage whom she needed protection from.
Here was something more degrading: I had to stay after business hours to accommodate this request. Why would I put up with this? Even during this confusion, I was trying to practice personal accountability and reconciliation.
Honestly, I was a little hurt for both her and I. We began so well and to have things get to this point simply was simply heartbreaking.
Linda Brown Confronts Liz's Nonsense
Managing this entire process, from the shadows, was the Human Resources Director Linda Brown. In fairness to her, there were times when she admitted these restrictions were unethical.
I am not suggesting she was an ally. However, near the end of this sorry episode, she, in my presence, became really forthright with Liz!
Linda Brown told her: "Things are out of control and you have to make a choice now Liz on whether the mission was the right place for you or not."
This was not out of loyalty to either me or truth. Lord no!
Linda simply understood that Liz's behavior was now a threat to the only person she was loyal to: Brad Meuli. For Liz, the "jig was up" and she left the Denver Rescue Mission.
After realizing she could no longer enforce her agenda through overt sexualization, she quit. However, the damage had been done.
What happened next was earth shaking. I discovered Brad Meuli and Steve Walkup were paying me thousands less, per year, than my white colleagues who had million less in managed responsibility.
We explore why African American were intentionally denied equal pay in the next article.