Eagle County DA seeks to extend term limits | AspenTimes.com

Eagle County DA seeks to extend term limits

Matt Zalaznick
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. – Mark Hurlbert, the district attorney for Eagle County, says DAs can be more effective with 12 years in office than with eight.

That’s why Hurlbert is asking the Eagle County commissioners Tuesday to approve a ballot question that would ask voters in November to give district attorneys three four-year terms, instead of two, before they are forced out by term limits.

“This has become a pretty complex job,” said Hurlbert, who, under current law, wouldn’t be able to run for re-election in 2012. “This will allow people to become better DAs.

“I don’t know whether it will effect me or not,” he added. “I don’t know if I will run in three years.”

Hurlbert’s judicial district also includes Summit, Lake and Clear Creek counties. He says commissioners in all four counties that make up the Fifth Judicial District have expressed support for putting the question on the ballot.

Aside from the county commissioners, who are limited to two, four-year terms, many other elected officials in Eagle County, such as the sheriff, clerk and coroner, are free from term limits.

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The district attorney in Eagle County would benefit from a longer term as they try to tackle a growing population committing more complicated crimes, Hurlbert said.

“We’re seeing more complex cases – ID theft, child porn, and sex assaults are now more complicated,” he said.

In a judicial district the size of the Fifth, the DA splits time between being the office’s administrator and prosecuting cases.

“When a DA gets up to speed, they’re term-limited,” Hurlbert said. “And when the top person turns over, the whole office often turns over.”

mzalaznick@vaildaily.com

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