Five years ago, my wife and I retired to the beautiful Vail Valley and are proud to call Colorado our new home. This was a welcome retirement after 35 years practicing law in Kansas City, Mo. Next to the presidential selection on Nov. 6, the most important decision facing local Colorado residents in the 5th Judicial District, including the four counties of Eagle, Summit, Clear Creek and Lake counties, is the selection of district attorney.
There are a number of reasons to support this conclusion, the most important being the immense power that every district attorney or prosecutor receives under his oath of office. The opportunity or temptation for abuse of that power can be intoxicating to any individual that lacks integrity, conscience and a true moral compass.
There is an oath of office that comes with becoming a district attorney. Though it no doubt varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it requires the district attorney to faithfully execute his or her duties and to uphold the constitutions of the state Colorado and of the United States of America. Furthermore, the oath incurs the obligation to do and seek justice. With that oath the district attorney incurs the duty to represent the interest of all of the people, which includes victims, society, as well as those accused of crimes. Truly, this job is different than any other legal position. A district attorney's job is to do "justice" as opposed to being focused on zealously advocating for a particular client.
I have never felt compelled to write a "letter to the editor" of any newspaper, however, given the above thoughts I felt it was important to share certain insight that I have on one of the candidates running for this important office. That individual is Scott Turner.
I have known Mr. Turner, both professionally and personally, for over 20 years. Initially, in Kansas City, where our respective law firms worked together and opposite each other on a number of cases, some complex, some simple. More recently, in the last five years, I have watched Scott here in Colorado, grow into perhaps the most capable assistant district attorney in all of Colorado. In each and every instance I could always expect 3 things from Scott: 1) complete honesty, his "word" really is his "bond"....2) competence, his "attention to detail" defines his success in the courtroom...and, 3) humility, an almost total absence of ego...with Scott, "it is never about him".
In my nearly four decades of practicing law, I have worked with well over 100 district attorneys. Most of them have been wonderful public servants, often working for salaries well under the private sector. The great ones "fly under the radar screen" quietly and professionally, doing their job one case at a time. Great caution is necessary in making a selection for our next district attorney. This is not a position for people seeking political gain or to wield political power. Remember, the person we select next week will hold this position for four years.
Collectively, as residents of the 5th Judicial District, we are indeed fortunate that a man of Mr. Turner's experience and character, has chosen to forego personal gain and offer himself to serve as our next district attorney. I can assure each of you that in the unfortunate event that any resident of this district learns that "one of their loved ones" has become a victim or accused of a crime....they will be treated with the utmost respect, honesty and professionalism with Scott Turner as our District Attorney....you see, it's in his DNA!
I urge you to cast your vote on November 6, 2012, for Scott Turner as District Attorney for the 5th Judicial District of Colorado.
Steve Burmeister, Edwards