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DA considers hiring Hershey

Naomi Havlen
Former Aspen Councilman Tony Hershey could join the local district attorney's staff after newly elected DA Colleen Truden takes charge next month.
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Colleen Truden will take over as the district attorney of the 9th Judicial District early next month, and she has talked with a former Aspen city councilman about joining her staff.Truden said she plans later this week to announce the members of her staff, which could include former Councilman Tony Hershey.”Tony and I have talked about him coming to this office, but I’ll have a more thorough answer about that on Thursday,” she said.

Truden said on Tuesday that she expects to name her assistant district attorney and deputy district attorneys who will serve in the district’s three counties – Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco – on Thursday, if not sooner. Truden will replace outgoing district attorney Mac Myers, whose term expired.Current Assistant District Attorney Lawson Wills lost the primary for district attorney in August and says he will enter private practice when Truden takes the office.The assistant district attorney currently works out of the Pitkin County Courthouse, but Truden said the office might be staffed with two deputy district attorneys instead.For the Pitkin County office she said she’s looking at the number of cases and the workload throughout the district in order to allocate resources to best serve the county.

Hershey said he has discussed the issue with Truden and expressed interest in working out of the Glenwood Springs office, in Garfield County. In the early to mid-’90s, Hershey spent three years as the equivalent of a deputy district attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y. “This is one of the things I’ve considered doing since I left the council and began to focus on my private practice,” he said. “I enjoyed prosecuting in New York, and I would hope that here it would be less hectic.”Hershey said he got to know Truden during her campaign for the primary and said he thinks she’s “bright, hardworking and intelligent, and seems to have a fresh new take.”In the past months Truden formed a volunteer citizen advisory council of business owners, lawyers and law enforcement personnel from around the district to establish the most important issues facing the area. Hershey sat on the council, representing Pitkin County along with Aspen Assistant Police Chief Glenn Schaffer and deputy Marie Munday.

“She seems to want to build a good relationship with law enforcement in the valley, which is good for that office,” Hershey said. “She has reached out to the community, which is a great idea. A lot of people don’t know what a DA does until they are in court.”The advisory council’s main recommendations included improving communication and cooperation between the district attorney’s office and all law enforcement agencies; providing a continuous source of education and training to law enforcement agencies regarding criminal law and district attorney office policies and operation; and enhancing community relations, including better citizen access to the office.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail is nhavlen@aspentimes.com


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