A call for truth, justice
December 9, 2005
Next Tuesday, Dec. 13, all voters will have to chance to stand up for truth and justice on the political process by recalling Colleen Truden and replacing her with Chip McCrory as district attorney.
A call for truth and justice may sound like political rhetoric or poetic hyperbole best saved for honorifics occasions like July Fourth speeches or “West Wing” episodes. The reality is we as citizens must require our district attorney to emulate both those values, and we must impose consequences on Ms. Truden for her failure to adhere to both.
Ms. Truden has been caught lying on the record repeatedly and has brazenly attempted to deflect the charges with legalistic definitions and attacks on her critics. Ms. Truden’s absolute denial of her hiring of her husband followed by the defense that he wasn’t really on the payroll because he was an “independent contractor” is fodder for comic strip stories like O.J.’s search for the “real killer.” She was offered an opportunity to retract that fable before the Pitkin County commissioners last month. Rather than an admission and an apology, the voters were treated to ad hominem attacks and lectures about the difference between “independent contractors” and “payroll employees.”
So too with her treatment of former deputy district attorneys, all of whom are presumably engaged in a vast left-center-right-Democrat-Republican conspiracy when they complain about summary dismissals, harassment and harsh treatment of defendants who choose the “wrong” lawyer.
Finally, when asked about the conduct of her chief prosecutor, Vince Felleter, while he was a DA in Mesa County, she said there was absolutely no foundation for the allegation that Mr. Felleter engaged in harassing several of his co-workers at that office. The police report referenced in the press spells out the fear those women had of Mr. Felleter, fear so great that one of them carried a loaded gun to work to defend herself. Apparently, the Mesa County sheriff’s office is part of the conspiracy in reporting that Mr. Felleter was under a restraining order within the Mesa County office. Ms. Truden has yet to explain why it is appropriate for someone with such a record should be given the power to charge offenders or dismiss criminal complaints.
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Chip McCrory, a write-in candidate, has worked as a no-nonsense prosecutor and a defense attorney, a background that I believe gives him a balanced view of the criminal justice system and the ability to critically evaluate the claims of both sides in a criminal case. Martin Beeson, another candidate, also appears to offer an honest alternative to the Truden regime.
This election is not limited to Republican electors, even though both Beeson and McCrory are Republicans. It is up to all of us, not just Republicans, to restore truth and justice as values required of our local prosecutor. A YES vote on recall and a write-in of McCrory will be a big step toward telling all elected officials we expect honesty from our public officials.