Alarming state at DA’s office
Dear Editor:I worked at the DA’s office in Glenwood for four years under Mac Myers from 1997 through 2001. The loss of experienced prosecutors that has been reported as late is a matter of grave concern. There is no attorney left at the DA’s office who was there when I left. That’s for the entire judicial district. All three counties. No attorneys left. None. As in zero. As in greater than 100 percent turnover of legal staff in four years.This loss of experience is frightening. The DA’s office is responsible for prosecuting dangerous people who are a clear threat to the community, and you need good, experienced prosecutors to do that. Jeff Chaney and Gretchen Larson were good and experienced prosecutors. They were (and are) friends of mine. For the DA’s office to lose people of their caliber in such a short time, without experienced replacements, creates an enormous problem. Good prosecutors take time to develop. Criminal law is an extremely complicated and specialized area, and prosecution even more so. The generally accepted wisdom among prosecutors is that it takes three to five years of experience prosecuting misdemeanors and juvenile cases before a prosecutor is ready to tackle the rigors of taking on an adult felony caseload.My fear is that defense attorneys will be able to run rings around the inexperienced people who are likely to be brought in to replace the enormous number of prosecutors who have left in recent weeks. I hope that it is not the case, but I think that there is a strong possibility that dangerous people will be walking the streets who would have been put behind bars had Jeff Cheney, Gretchen Larson and the rest remained.As for the way that the new DA has treated personnel who have decided to leave her office, her actions speak for themselves. When good people, experienced people, ethical people, find that they can no longer work for an organization and give the courtesy of an appropriate period of notice, it almost strains my powers of imagination to understand why they would then be summarily and unceremoniously cashiered prior to their period of notice.Perhaps Ms. Truden felt that she needed to humiliate her former employees in front of their friends and colleagues in order to satisfy some perverse need for self-gratification, I don’t know. All I know is this, if I were dead right now, I’d be turning over in my grave.Rich OrmanAurora
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