Truden launches promotional newsletter | AspenTimes.com

Truden launches promotional newsletter

Chad Abraham

Colleen Truden

District Attorney Colleen Truden, fighting a recall ignited by widespread criticism of her and her office, has released a newsletter called The Voice of Prosecution.The newsletter offers five vignettes of her accomplishments since taking office 10 months ago. The last page of the newsletter says it was paid for by Integrity in Prosecution, a political campaign committee whose registered agent is a Republican strategist, according to reports in two Colorado Springs newspapers.In a short statement included with the newsletter’s release, Truden says the publication “contains accurate, relevant information that you will not read in the local print media or hear from opponents of change in the office.”Truden said she has wanted to put out a newsletter “for quite some time. It just seems to be an appropriate time.” She said she hopes to put one out on a quarterly basis, if not more frequently.The October issue of The Voice of Prosecution, which was sent to “interested citizens,” first highlights what Truden says is a 57 percent increase in felony case filings.

“The prosecutors are removing and keeping an increased number of the ‘bad-guys’ from the streets,” the newsletter says.Truden said more cases are being filed and convictions are up because she and her prosecutors have a better working relationship with law enforcement agencies in the 9th Judicial District. The district comprises Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties.Increased prosecution of a variety of crimes, not one in particular, is behind the larger caseload, she said.The newsletter is part of an information campaign, Truden said, designed to make “voters aware of the real truth and what is going on with the office of the district attorney and the good works that we’re doing here on behalf of the citizens. We’ve been doing a good job here.”Truden said she was not meeting her supporters in a meeting-type environment to plan strategy. Instead, she said she meets backers “everywhere. I run into them on the street, I talk to them. They call on the phone, send me cards. I see them all the time.”Martin Beeson, a former Truden prosecutor-turned-critic who hopes to be a candidate if the district attorney is recalled, said the newsletter is form over substance. And “I found it curious that at the bottom it indicated that it was paid for by a group called Integrity in Prosecution,” Beeson said. “I thought that was a little disingenuous. The lack of integrity in that office is, by the way, the very reason that this recall effort has been going so strong.”

Another part of the newsletter discusses the financial state of the 9th Judicial District.”Total expenditures have been held to 73 percent of the $1.6 million operating budget approved by … Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties,” it says.Credit cards Garfield County issued to the office’s staff were canceled in July after county officials said Truden’s office was late in reporting invoices. County Manager Ed Green told her in a letter that “to the extent you and your staff are currently utilizing those cards, you are incurring debt without appropriated funds. Because this is potentially the direct debt of Garfield County … I must terminate the use of those cards by you and your staff immediately.”Truden said Monday that she has not asked for the credit cards back.”I’m not interested in it,” she said. “We’re certainly making our bills, we’re certainly meeting all of the needs that we have in the office.”The newsletter says that the treasurer for Integrity in Prosecution is Scott Shires.

A recent article in the Colorado Springs Independent newspaper described him as a Denver-based Republican operative. He has been involved in recent controversy in a school board campaign in Colorado Springs.He is also listed as the registered agent for Truden’s Integrity in Prosecution committee, according to forms on file with the secretary of state’s office.In a letter to the state office, he said the Truden group formed Aug. 24 and disbanded Sept. 16.”At no time did the committee raise any donations, have any deposits or have any expenses,” he said in the letter.Truden said Integrity in Prosecution has met “probably not near as much as those who have been trying to run an opposition campaign.” Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com

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