Mordkin moves in as new Aspen DA | AspenTimes.com

Mordkin moves in as new Aspen DA

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent
ALL |

ASPEN ” When Arnold P. Mordkin walked through the doors of the Pitkin County courthouse early Friday morning it appeared to be business as usual for the longtime area attorney who has defended many clients inside the building.

But instead of heading toward one of the two staircases that lead to the courtrooms in the second floor, Mordkin found himself unlocking the door of the District Attorney’s office in Aspen and walking inside with his dog, Bo.

That’s because the day marked Mordkin’s first on the job as the head of the DA’s office, which is part of the 9th Judicial District.

“I’m happy,” said Mordkin, as he sat behind a state-issued desk inside his roughly 120-square-foot office. “I’m very happy to be here.”

While Mordkin spent part of the morning talking on the telephone, and getting familiar with some of the office basics -” think coffee, copy and fax machines ” he also had other things on his agenda.

“I have to familiarize myself with these files,” said Mordkin as he eyed a large stack of pending case documents on his desk and on the floor of his office. “I’ve got time … but the very first thing is to get caught up.”

Mordkin, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., should not have any trouble in that role. He has been practicing law since he was admitted to the California Bar Association in 1963 — a few months after graduating from the University of Southern California law school in 1962.

Although noted for his private criminal practice, something he had to give up in order to become a prosecutor, Mordkin did serve as a Municipal Court judge in Orange County, Calif., in 1978-79.

Eventually, he made his way to the Centennial State, and was admitted to the Colorado Bar Association in 1996. Mordkin, married to Cindy for more than 20 years, also serves on the Town of Snowmass Village Council.

He lost a bid to become mayor in the Nov. 4 general election.

While he had been discussing the possibility of taking the prosecutor’s position in the weeks leading up to the election, the deal was not sealed until the day after the contest was over.

Once that was completed, Mordkin then had to wrap up a string of pending cases. His private practice work in Pitkin and Garfield counties was completed earlier this week, and Mordkin now moves back to the public sector.

District Court Judge James Boyd, at the Garfield County courthouse, swore him in Thursday.

“The real thing was to be of service to community,” said Mordkin on why he took the prosecutor’s job. “There was a real need here.”

whaupt@aspentimes.com


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