State clears Truden in ethics probe
The regulatory division of the Colorado Supreme Court has cleared Colleen Truden of ethics violations, and the former district attorney remains defiant.Truden said the high court notified her Jan. 9 that she had been cleared.”I had anticipated it. There was nothing to [the allegations],” she said. “I spent two years stepping up to the plate after citizens asked me, not a disgruntled group of lawyers that wanted me out.”I took the time, just like I have for 15 years, serving this community.”
Truden said she has been on vacation.”I’m enjoying my time,” she said. Truden and her assistant, Vince Felletter, came under investigation after deputy district attorney Katie Steers, who worked under Truden, resigned and filed a complaint with the court’s investigative arm. All complaints are investigated, said John Gleason, chief of the Attorney Regulation Counsel office of the state Supreme Court.Truden, who was the state’s first district attorney to be recalled from office, and Felletter will not face disciplinary action, according to letters from the regulation counsel office.
“We have nothing pending,” Gleason said.Steers alleged Truden and Felletter instructed her and other deputy prosecutors to give better plea deals to defense attorneys who were friendly to the office and did not support the recall. Steers has since rejoined the 9th Judicial District and works as Aspen’s county court prosecutor.”Katie Steers’ completely baseless and false allegations’ sole purpose was sensationalism for the recall effort. It was merely one of the many frauds perpetrated on the citizens for the political recall agenda,” Truden said in a statement released Wednesday evening. “Katie had the responsibility and duty to be truthful and honest, she was not. The recall was a completely engineered political event, and Katie Steers was a true stooge for the recall activists. Katie has been politically rewarded for her part in the game.”Efforts to reach Steers for comment were unsuccessful.
Voters recalled Truden, who had served less than a year, in a landslide vote in December. Opponents criticized her for paying her husband for work, mismanaging the office and cases, dishonesty and lack of experience.Truden adamantly denied every accusation lobbed at her, and she still does. But voters chose to recall her by a 4-to-1 margin. Martin Beeson, a former deputy under her who led the recall effort, was elected the new district attorney.The 9th Judicial District comprises Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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