Heidi McCollum sworn in as 5th Judicial District’s 1st female DA | SummitDaily.com

Heidi McCollum sworn in as 5th Judicial District’s 1st female DA

Tom Lotshaw
Vail Daily
Heidi McCollum of Eagle was sworn in Tuesday, Jan. 12, as district attorney for the 5th Judicial District, which includes Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties. She is the district's first female district attorney.
Photo by Tom Lotshaw / Vail Daily


EAGLE — Heidi McCollum was sworn into office Tuesday, Jan. 12, in Eagle County Court as the 5th Judicial District’s first female district attorney.

The ceremony, which was conducted virtually, included all the female judges in the 5th Judicial District, which spans Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties.

“I wanted that done for symbolic reasons,” McCollum said during her brief remarks at the ceremony. “I thought that was important in this time and in this year to do that.”

Also sworn in were Joe Kirwan as McCollum’s assistant district attorney, Lisa Hunt as McCollum’s chief deputy district attorney and a number of deputy district attorneys who will help McCollum prosecute criminal cases in the 5th Judicial District.

“She’s the first female DA for the 5th, but more important is what she brings to the job,” Judge Karen A. Romeo said while introducing McCollum.

Romeo described McCollum as one of the most prepared attorneys that she has ever worked with and applauded McCollum’s “commitment to our communities, her deep appreciation for trying to do the right thing, her willingness to sit down and listen and to be prepared for any court hearing or trial.”

McCollum, born and raised in the town of Eagle, was sworn in by Judge Cynthia J. Jones, who attended high school with McCollum.

In brief remarks, McCollum thanked members of the law enforcement community for what they do day in and day out, the attorneys who work in the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and her family for support.

Speaking to the attorneys who work in the office, McCollum said their jobs are as important as ever.

“Your jobs are to hold the line,” McCollum said. “To hold the line and make sure that the rights of defendants are upheld and not violated. To hold the line and ensure the rights of victims are being given their voice. To hold the line in doing justice both in and out of the courtroom, and to adhere to the rules of law in this state. To have compassion for those in the criminal court system, whether they are on the defense side or whether they are on the prosecution side. To do all these things with dignity, propriety and by following the rules of law that are set up to be fair for everyone. These are the lines that we all need to hold.”

McCollum has worked as assistant district attorney in the 5th Judicial District since 2013 under former District Attorney Bruce Brown, who could not run again because of term limits.

McCollum takes office at a challenging time for 5th Judicial District courts, which are continuing to operate through the ongoing pandemic.

Most dockets are being handled virtually through the court’s Webex conferencing software, and a moratorium on new jury trials was imposed in mid-November and remains in effect. Jury trials are presently scheduled to resume in March, and about 130 are scheduled for the district through June.

Brown said McCollum has proven herself to be a leader with excellent technical skills in the courtroom and someone who has “all the tools in the bag” and a lot of community support to get the job done.

“There are not many women who are elected DA in the state of Colorado,” Brown said. “And diversity is so important to our community. It’s nice that an important part of the judicial system will be reflective of the community.”

Brown noted that McCollum has taken on some of the most challenging criminal cases the district attorney’s office has faced over the past eight years.

“She knows the community well and has a lot of confidence from the community,” Brown said. “I think she is going to flourish. All the attorneys sworn in today, they have all been there the past several years, so the continuity this brings will pay dividends. There won’t be any gaps in service.”

This story is from VailDaily.com.

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