Truden blames media for recall
December 15, 2005
District Attorney Colleen Truden said Thursday she did nothing wrong while in office and blamed her critics and the media for her historic recall Tuesday.”They ran a beautiful, textbook, classic smear campaign from the beginning. You guys helped them, and based on what I saw today [in news articles], it continues,” she said in her first interview since the election.”We have had numerous accomplishments that have gone unrecognized, unnoticed,” she said.Truden, the first district attorney ever to be recalled in Colorado, was dismissive of the lopsided vote against her. About four out of five voters favored her recall, and voters also elected Martin Beeson to replace her.”I don’t put any stock in the number of people” who voted for the recall, Truden said.She said recall supporters got people out to vote “who didn’t support me in the first place, so what a surprise.”I really want to express my appreciation and thanks to all the individuals who have supported me and continue to support me and understand it to be exactly what it is,” Truden said.She said she refused to conduct a negative campaign.”I did take the high road, and it appears the negative campaigns … are what you all want,” she said of the media.”… You guys don’t care about me. You guys don’t care about the truth and me,” she said.Truden also said she has “serious reservations” about how well a transition can be carried out between her and Beeson. He could take office as soon as Christmas week, depending on when county clerks certify election results. “How am I supposed to finish the responsibilities that I have to the citizens of the 9th Judicial District?” she said. “There is a lot to be done.”She said she has left a message with Beeson.”When I talk to him we will talk about what needs to be done to give him access and control of the office. That’s what he needs to know.””I will afford him every courtesy Mac Myers afforded me,” she said.Asked to elaborate, she only repeated her statement about Myers, the former district attorney who left office a year ago because of term limits.The transition between Myers and Truden was a matter of some contention. Myers said he offered her help that she didn’t take advantage of. She said he left files in disarray and bills unpaid.Truden also said Thursday she won’t be leaving a backlog of cases in the courts. Chip McCrory, a write-in candidate in Tuesday’s election, had accused her of creating such a backlog because of an inexperienced staff.She said she has begun completing her office’s financial books and getting information in order for Beeson. She said her critics have received almost everything available of a financial nature from the office throughout this year, so Beeson should have a good picture of the office’s finances. Truden’s spending was one of several issues that led to the recall campaign.Truden said Beeson was part of the smear campaign against her.”Beeson said he spent the last eight months of his life trying to get me thrown out of office. I think that says it all. … Congratulations,” she said.Truden said she had no reason to think Beeson won’t keep her staff in place.”I have the best prosecutors. They should all be retained, every single one of them,” she said.Beeson has said he plans to speak with each of Truden’s employees before making staffing decisions. He said he hopes to keep some of them in the office and has declined for now to identify anyone he might let go.Assistant District Attorney Vince Felletter hasn’t returned calls for comment on whether he hopes to remain in the office. Some Truden critics have been critical of him, as well.Asked about her own future, Truden said, “I have lots of plans, but I have no intention of talking about them.”However, she added, “I will get through this just fine.”So will the district attorney’s office, even if the transition isn’t easy, she said.”Life will go on here in this office, and cases will get handled and prosecutions will be done.”Truden said the criticism of her office this year has been frustrating when she and her staff have been trying to focus on doing their jobs.”You never see the wonderful accomplishments we’ve done. You’ve never printed all the good things that we do,” she said. “… It doesn’t matter at this point. The damage is done. The citizens lose.”Sherry Caloia, a recall organizer, said she wasn’t surprised that Truden didn’t feel her actions had anything to do with her being recalled and instead was continuing to blame the media and her critics.”She’s maintained that all along, and I anticipated that she would continue that attitude and I think that’s her downfall,” Caloia said.Caloia said that had Truden been more up-front about things such as hiring her husband, Fred, as a computer contractor, “I think the outcome would have been different.”Caloia said many reporters also told her that Truden failed to return their phone calls.In addition, Caloia said, a lot of information about Truden’s problems in office wasn’t even circulated via the media. Instead, it was shared among people, originating from sources such as Truden’s former employees.”I think there was a lot of information out there that even the media didn’t have,” Caloia said.