Transition in post-recall DA’s office uncertain
December 26, 2005
ASPEN – The recall of the district attorney hasn’t ended the turmoil in the prosecutor’s office. Staffers don’t know if they’ll keep their jobs and the lawyer elected to replace first-term District Attorney Colleen Truden isn’t sure of his own transition.Martin Beeson, who resigned from Truden’s staff in April, was elected to replace her in a recall vote on Dec. 13. He said Truden asked him to put in writing what he needs to make a smooth transition, but she’s been out of town for the holidays.”When we get into office, the situation will be whatever it will,” Beeson said. “We will accept that situation and deal with it and we’ll get the job done.”The state has until Jan. 6 to certify the recall election results, but could finish sooner.Meanwhile, it’s unclear which staffers will remain. Vince Felletter, assistant district attorney, said he hasn’t heard from Beeson about upcoming cases or the staff.”I” just keep doing my job until something changes,” said Felletter, who plans to leave the DA’s office.Beeson said he has talked to some of the staffers. He said, though, that he’ reluctant to discuss employees’ futures until he hears from Truden that he has access to the office.”Some of them, obviously, I’ve had chats with and it didn’t go the way they hoped it would go,” Beeson said. “I’m doing my best to talk to people one-on-one and giving them the respect of looking them in the eye.”He said he expects to bring back some former staffers, but declined to name them.Truden was the prosecutor in the 9th Judicial District, which covers Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties.Truden was only the second Colorado prosecutor to face a recall vote. The first, which failed, was against Pueblo County DA Joe Losavio in 1978.Truden lost the election by a margin of 4-to-1. Beeson was elected the new DA with 64 percent of the vote to write-in candidate Charles McCrory’s 36 percent.Truden’s opponents said she was inexperienced, had poor management skills and accused her of everything from lying to wasting taxpayer dollars to nepotism. She defended her record and said the complaints came from people who didn’t like her strict management style and from her opponents in the 2004 election.