DA Caloia hires 3 new prosecutors to replace recent departures | PostIndependent.com

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DA Caloia hires 3 new prosecutors to replace recent departures

Sherry Caloia

Sherry Caloia

While a high turnover rate has proved to be a persistent problem in the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the ranks of prosecutors are about to get three new faces to make up for the losses.

DA Sherry Caloia announced the three new hires in a press release Monday.

“While this is a loss to the District Attorney’s Office we have been fortunate to attract three experienced individuals to fill their shoes,” Caloia wrote in referencing recent departures from her staff.

Matthew Chaput, a six-year deputy district attorney in Colorado Springs who has recently focused on sex offender prosecution, is joining the DA’s office.

Denton Walker, a three-year deputy district attorney in Texas, is also joining the office after having moved to the Roaring Fork Valley. Walker will work out of the DA’s Aspen office.

Also joining the prosecution is David Little, who is in private practice in Denver. He brings six years experience in civil court and some criminal law experience. Little will begin his work in the county court in Glenwood Springs.

The turnover rate at the prosecutor’s office has been a matter of contention in the current DA race that will be decided in November.

Caloia, a Democrat, is running for re-election against rivals Jeff Cheney, a Republican, and Chip McCrory, an independent.

About halfway through her first term as DA, Caloia was seeing turnover in her 33-person staff at around 50 percent or more.

Much of this has been natural turnover, as DA’s offices often attract young attorneys who only stay put for a few years, Caloia has said. However, her political opponents blame her management style for driving attorneys away.

“If they keep leaving there has got to be a problem some place. Currently the wages are pretty good,” McCrory has said.

Recently Andrea Bryant, who worked out of the DA’s Aspen office, left for a job as the assistant city attorney for Aspen. And former Assistant District Attorney Anne Norrdin was appointed to the bench as a district court judge.

At a DA debate last week, Caloia said these senior staffers moving to those positions demonstrates the great people in her office.

Cheney was quick to point out that he hired Bryant and Norrdin when he was assistant district attorney.

“Those were two people I screened, I trained, I mentored and I hired,” he said at the debate.

A third deputy DA is leaving due to medical concerns.

“All three gentlemen have great legal credentials and experience and will fill the void in the office,” Caloia wrote of the three new hires.