Special prosecutor assigned in case against ex Aspen cop | AspenTimes.com
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Special prosecutor assigned in case against ex Aspen cop

Wyatt Haupt Jr.
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado

ASPEN ” A special prosecutor has been appointed in the case against former Aspen police officer Jim Crowley, who was arrested last year on alleged alcohol-related offenses, authorities confirmed Friday.

Deputy District Attorney Curtis Fleming was assigned the case. Fleming hails from the 21st Judicial District in Mesa County.

Garfield County Court Judge Paul Metzger ordered a special prosecutor in January, after 9th Judicial Assistant District Attorney Jeff Cheney made a request.

Cheney said at the time a special prosecutor was necessary largely because Crowley was a witness in a number of pending cases in the 9th district, which includes Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties.

That could give rise to perceived special treatment for the former officer. Crowley, 43, did not appear in court for that hearing.

The job of naming a special prosecutor fell to Mark Hurlbert, who is responsible for such appointments in western Colorado. Hurlbert heads the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

The 18-year law enforcement career of Crowley grounded to a halt late last summer. He was arrested Aug. 28 for allegedly driving a vehicle while his ability was impaired, and possession of a weapon while under the influence of alcohol.

The arrest occurred after another officer said that he detected alcohol on his breath at the police station.

After Crowley, 42 years old at the time, met with his supervisors to report for duty on the morning of Aug. 28, he got behind the wheel of a police vehicle while allegedly under the influence of alcohol, case records show.

That resulted in his arrest on two misdemeanor counts. Aspen Police Chief Richard Pryor fired Crowley the following day.

The case was originally to be tried in Pitkin County. However, the venue was changed to Garfield County in the fall after Pitkin County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely stepped aside.

Crowley is to be arraigned April 6.

whaupt@aspentimes.com


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