Aspen DA likely to challenge recall petition |

Aspen DA likely to challenge recall petition

ASPEN ” District Attorney Colleen Truden says she likely will contest the validity of a recall election certified by the secretary of the state, which would be the first recall election of a Colorado district attorney in nearly 30 years.

Truden said she heard that some of the signatures in the recall petition were gathered by children, and others were the result of people being pressured at churches and social events.

“They (the recall backers) don’t want to let me run my office,” she said.

The recall petition accuses Truden of dishonesty, mismanagement, wasting taxpayer dollars and failing to prosecute cases, among other transgressions.

Her opponents submitted a petition containing 9,032 signatures; 5,455 were necessary to put a recall on the ballot. The secretary of state’s office announced Thursday it rejected 2,406 signatures and verified the remaining 6,626 as valid signatures from registered voters in Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties.

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“The community came out and rose to the challenge. I got so many calls from people who offered to help, offered to sign and offered to circulate petitions,” said Glenwood Springs attorney Sherry Caloia, a recall committee organizer. “It’s what made this effort successful and without them I couldn’t have done it.”

Martin Beeson, a former deputy district attorney under Truden and potential challenger if the recall election goes through, said he had mixed feelings. “I think it is a sad day for the district; it’s also a day of hope,” he said.

Truden, meanwhile, has recruited Denver lawyer Scott Gessler, an expert in election law, to try to challenge the recall. Truden described the recall as a personal vendetta and predicted voters will side with her once they hear her case.

Truden said the latest court statistics showed felony convictions up 13 percent through August over the previous year.

Former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Colo., says the attacks on Truden, a Republican, originated with prosecutors who were loyal to her Democratic predecessor. Former District Attorney Mac Myers was barred from seeking re-election by term limits.

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