Spare us the pain and just resign, DA Truden

Michael Cleverly

All the rational people I know, with whom I’m still on speaking terms, tell me that I’ll never, ever, date Colleen Truden. I’ll never, ever, nuzzle my face between her breasts and enjoy the intoxicating scent of her last peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I’m devastated. This is a harsh conclusion for these people to come to. As a rule I try to resist absolutes. Never is a big word. Ever is a big word. Pathological liar is a big word. Oops, that’s two big words. I like to think that people can change, that there’s always hope. I don’t know, maybe I’m being naive. Perhaps, in the way that old drunks really do nothing but process whisky into urine, some people simply process oxygen into lies. The air goes in, the lies come out. Ms. Truden should be given a chance to change. … OK, she’s had her chance, let’s get her. I’ve already reconsidered my desires regarding Ms. Truden. What the hell was I thinking?By now every functionally literate person in the valley (this may or may not include the district attorney and her cronies) knows the litany of lies, half-truths, and obfuscations that the citizens of the valley have endured over the past months at the hands of Colleen Truden. The depth of the egregiousness of this woman’s behavior becomes clear when you consider the fact that one of the most respected lawyers in the state observed that if someone on a witness stand were to play as fast and loose with the truth as Ms. Truden does, the judge would surely throw him in jail. “Unbelievably, laughably, bush league” was his characterization of Ms. Truden’s behavior. The fact that five of the eight prosecutors in the district attorney’s office have quit since Truden started her job has been widely reported. It’s less commonly known that three other prosecutors quit between the time she was elected and the time she assumed office. That’s eight for eight. District Attorney Truden has filled this void with people like our new upvalley felony prosecutor Mr. Heyl. Mr. Heyl is a former bankruptcy lawyer from Kansas who retired to Redstone. He has zero experience in criminal law. Perhaps next time there’s a murder or rape in Aspen he can plea bargain it down from a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7. Then there’s Mr. Felletter, Truden’s right-hand man. Mr. Felletter’s been garnering his own ink lately. Fortunately for him, little of it included the story about him being under an internal restraining order back in Grand Junction. This for allegedly stalking and harassing a female coworker. I haven’t been able to learn exactly what an internal restraining order is. Maybe it’s just a “back off, Jack,” but the word out of the legal community in Junction is that whatever shitty stuff you may hear about Felletter, the truth is 10 times worse. This might be evidenced by the talk in Aspen legal circles that he went to a local judge and asked to have a blank search warrant signed so he could make copies of it and fill in the details later, whenever needed. Did the Nazi SS have blank warrants? I’m not sure. I’m also told that Ms. Truden and Mr. Felletter have instituted a policy that resists plea bargains. For instance, in the past, a first offense of driving under the influence that involved an alcohol percent of .125 or less, and no other infractions, was almost always automatically pleaded down to driving while ability impaired. This netted the offender 90 percent of the DUI penalty, while wasting no court time and giving the first-timer a slight break. With the new attitude, this will no longer occur; the accused will have nothing to lose by going to trial for as long as it takes. It would appear that recent events demonstrate the damage this philosophy can do.Ms. Truden’s responses to questions surrounding her husband’s employment at the district attorney’s office have been typically sleazy. First she simply denied that he worked there. Then she said that he was just “helping out.” Then she said that, yes, he worked there, but only because there was no one else to do the job. When it was pointed out that there wasn’t anyone else to do the job because she had fired the people who had been doing the job, she waxed positively Clinton-esque and in a “what your definition of is, is” moment, said something about being a contract worker isn’t the same as working there. It’s clear to me that there’s something very, very wrong with Colleen Truden. Yes, she’s a duly elected official, but I’m afraid that a case like this actually gives democracy a bad name. People like Truden and Felletter in fact, give white trash a bad name. Ms. Truden was formerly a municipal court judge, a job that is essentially meting out justice to people who don’t curb their dogs. She was put in office by downvalley redneck law-enforcement types, who thought that they weren’t getting enough backup from the district attorney’s office. They thought they could control her, run the show. I can’t imagine that they can still consider her an asset. I can’t imagine anyone else in the district could remotely consider her an asset. She is scum. The only option she has that will leave her with anything at all is to resign. Resign before there’s a really, really, ugly recall. Spare the valley and yourself the pain.