District Attorney’s Office to require less from counties | AspenTimes.com

District Attorney’s Office to require less from counties

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

Ninth District Attorney Sherry Caloia discussed cutbacks of personnel and a financial savings for each of the three counties that make up her office during a budget presentation with Pitkin County commissioners on Tuesday.

Caloia, who has held office since January, was elected to office last fall with a victory over incumbent Martin Beeson. During her campaign, she vowed to make the three-county office more efficient.

She reported that her office will need $2.81 million from the three counties next year, a nearly 8 percent decease compared with $3.04 million in 2013.

She outlined the different moves and situations that led to the expected budget decrease, just as she did in an Oct. 8 memorandum to the board.

Caloia wrote that Garfield and Rio Blanco county governments asked her to reduce their share because of declining property tax revenue.

"It has been my goal over the last nine months to carefully examine staffing needs and to make adjustments," she said in the memo. Some of the adjustments allowed her to decrease the size of the staff.

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The Pitkin County office still has two full-time deputy district attorneys — Andrea Bryan, who handles felonies, and Jason Slothouber, who deals with misdemeanor cases. But Caloia noted that she rotates them into the Glenwood Springs staff one day per week "to meet other staffing needs and effectively use all resources."

In Rio Blanco County, deputies also are assigned to work in Glenwood Springs to meet the office's needs.

In the Glenwood Springs (Garfield County) office, Caloia saved money by "consolidating the duties" of an attorney and staff worker, she wrote in the memo.

Garfield County carries the highest caseload in the district, with 330 felony cases until the first week of October this year. Comparatively, Pitkin had 55, and Rio Blanco had 30.

Garfield County's contributions will account for more than 70 percent of the counties' revenue going to the office in 2014, Caloia said.

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