Pitco prosecutors shown the door
Pitkin County will have new prosecutors after District Attorney-elect Martin Beeson takes office next month.Andrew Heyl, who prosecutes felony cases in Pitkin County, said Beeson came to the Aspen office on Thursday to break the news. County prosecutor Brian Rossiter, who handles lower-level crimes, told a judge at the close of court Tuesday that he would also be leaving.Heyl said he had hoped to stay with the 9th Judicial District but that Beeson was bringing in “his cronies.” He was hired in late April after deputy district attorney Chris Gaddis became the fifth of eventually seven prosecutors to resign under District Attorney Colleen Truden.Heyl won two convictions at trial, including that of a 17-year-old California girl who was convicted of attempted first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon for her role in an attack in October 2004.”I thought I did a pretty good job here,” he said.Beeson, however, “kicked me out the door,” said Heyl, who moved from Redstone to Aspen after getting the job eight months ago. “I’m a little disappointed in what I was told, which basically is he’s bringing his cronies in and he didn’t have room for anybody else.”Heyl said he thought Beeson wanted him to resign, but he did not do so. He said he realized being a prosecutor under Truden would be contentious.”I knew that the people who left all wanted to come back,” Heyl said. “But I would’ve thought that they would have had some position to offer me. Apparently, they don’t want me.”Former deputy district attorney Gail Nichols, who resigned under Truden because of philosophical differences and was then escorted out before her last day, is a likely contender for Heyl’s job. The Aspen resident has acknowledged she has spoken with Beeson about returning to the office. But she recently referred specific questions about her taking over Heyl’s duties to Beeson. The district attorney-elect, himself a former deputy prosecutor under Truden, has said he will not discuss his staffing decisions until after he takes office. He did not return a call late Tuesday.Meanwhile, the spokeswoman for the Colorado secretary of state’s office said the results of the recall election would be certified Jan. 6. Beeson will be sworn in and take office soon after. On Dec. 13, Truden became the first district attorney in state history to be recalled from office. Her foes charged her with nepotism, mismanagement of cases and the office’s budget, and lying to county commissioners. More than 80 percent of voters in the 9th Judicial District, consisting of Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties, voted for the recall. The margin was likely historic in Pitkin: 95 percent were in favor of ousting Truden.Heyl said he might open a private law practice in the valley. He also promised to share more details about his departure after his last day.”In fact, I may write a letter to the editor,” he said. Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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