Former public defender Lisabeth Pérez Castle confirmed as Denver’s new top law enforcement watchdog

City Council approved the newest Independent Monitor Tuesday.
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A Denver Police cruiser is parked at Argonaut Wine and Liquor on East Colfax Avenue. Sept. 30, 2021.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Denver has a new Independent Monitor after the position was left vacant for almost two years.

City Council approved Lisabeth Pérez Castle for the role Tuesday after the Citizen Oversight Board announced its unanimous decision to select her in December.

In the role, Pérez will be Denver's top law enforcement watchdog.

Her background is in criminal defense. She previously worked at the Colorado State Public Defender's Office and has had a private practice in Denver since 2000. The daughter of two Cuban immigrants, she grew in the South Bronx.

Denver Citizen Oversight Board

Denver's previous independent monitor, Nick Mitchell, stepped down two years ago to take a job in Los Angeles and after releasing a damning report on how the Denver police handled the 2020 George Floyd Protests.

Earlier in 2022, the Board failed to hire three different finalists. Last month, the Board chose Pérez Castle over Mary Opler, a former police officer and prosecutor working in oversight in California.

During public meetings with the finalists, Pérez Castle emphasized partnership and transparency between her office, marginalized communities and law enforcement.

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