New Aspen prosecutors to start, deputy to leave
Two new prosecutors for Aspen’s felony and misdemeanor dockets will begin work next week, District Attorney Jeff Cheney said Friday.
Meanwhile, one of Cheney’s chief deputies is leaving the office to become a magistrate in Mesa County’s 21st Judicial District, Cheney said.
Matt Barrett, one of two chief deputies in the 9th Judicial District, will leave the office March 16 to assume his new job, he said.
“It’s a great opportunity for him,” Cheney said. “He wants to be a judge.”
Barrett was on vacation Friday and unavailable for comment, Cheney said.
Barrett worked for previous 9th Judicial District Attorney Sherry Caloia, who fired him in December 2016 after she lost her re-election bid against Cheney.
Caloia said at the time that Barrett went behind her back to change the direction of a case involving an assault on a police officer. Barrett later disputed that characterization of events. Cheney hired Barrett in January 2017, about a week after being sworn in.
“I’ve been in the trenches with Matt,” Cheney said Friday. “He’s a dynamic prosecutor. It’s definitely a loss for me.”
Aspen’s new felony prosecutor, Donald Nottingham, will begin Monday on an informal basis, though Assistant DA Ben Sollars will handle Monday’s felony docket, he said.
Nottingham, a former prosecutor in the 1st Judicial District in Jefferson County, has spent the past four years living in Brooklyn, New York and touring the world as part of an Acapella vocal group, Cheney said.
“He has a wonderful voice,” he said. “(Now) he’s ready to get back into prosecution.”
Nottingham, who was not available for comment Friday, is originally from Lakewood.
The misdemeanor docket in Pitkin County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely’s court also has been without a permanent prosecutor since Eric Trout left in January to take a job in Denver.
Graham Jackson, a Glenwood Springs native who also previously worked for Caloia, will assume that job later next week, Cheney said. Jackson was hired on a part-time basis a year ago to help Cheney’s office switch over to a new case management system, he said.
Jackson, 31, said Friday he previously worked as a prosecutor under Caloia in Garfield County Court and is looking forward to getting back into court.
“I’m excited,” he said. “The longer I got on with this (case management) project, the more I started to miss the courtroom.”
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The Grizzly Creek fire spread to 19,440 acres overnight and went back under Interstate 70, according to the U.S. Forest Service update Saturday morning.