Former Jefferson County counsel named new Garfield County attorney
PARACHUTE, Colorado – Former Jefferson County attorney Frank Hutfless, who most recently was lead counsel for a gold mining company in Reno, Nev., has been selected to become the next Garfield County attorney.
The Garfield Board of County Commissioners, meeting in Parachute Thursday night, approved a contract for Hutfless to assume duties as county attorney beginning Oct. 8.
Hutfless, 66, currently of Golden, will be paid an annual base salary of $130,000. His contract will run through Dec. 31, 2013.
“I sincerely appreciate the opportunity the commissioners have given me to share in their vision for the county,” Hutfless said in a prepared statement issued by the county administration. “I was positively impressed by them, and I look forward to becoming part of their excellent team.”
Hutfless served as Jefferson County attorney from 1994-2001 and again from 2003-07. From 2007-09, he was executive vice president and general counsel for Bullion River Gold Corp. of Reno, Nev. The company operates several gold mines in northern California, Nevada and New Mexico.
Hutfless told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent Friday that he took most of the past three years off to travel with his wife, Rosanne, who recently retired from her job as a state hearing officer.
“We spent some time in the Caribbean and Europe,” Hutfless said. “The last few months I started thinking I needed something to do again, and when this opportunity came along it seemed like a real good fit.”
Hutfless said Garfield County has been one of his favorite destinations for fishing, cycling, golfing and other outdoor activities.
“So, in addition to everything else, this really is a dream location for me,” he said.
Hutfless was chosen from among five finalists for the county attorney’s position after two days of interviews with the county commissioners last week.
The other finalists included Patrick Coleman, a private practice attorney in Denver; A.A. Hegner, an assistant Colorado attorney general; William Linkous, a private-practice attorney from Marietta, Ga.; and former Boulder County deputy county attorney Pat Mayne.
According to the county’s press release, Hutfless has considerable trial and appellate experience with more than 400 trials and appeals at the state and federal court levels in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.
During his public service career, he gained substantial experience in administrative law and procedure related to elections, airport operations, intergovernmental agreements, land use, environmental law, water conservation, finance and public contracts.
He has also worked in private sector law dealing with corporate law, real estate development and transactions and agriculture. Hutfless also provided legal advice and regulatory support for the Nebraska Oil and Gas Commission.
Hutfless also enjoys playing competitive poker for stakes, and has played in World Series of Poker events in recent years.
The county commissioners were in Parachute for a joint meeting with the Parachute Town Council and representatives of the Battlement Mesa community when the decision was made to hire Hutfless. The matter had been continued from Monday’s regular BOCC meeting in Glenwood Springs.
“With Frank aboard, our strong team will soon be complete,” County Commission Chairman John Martin said in the press release.
Added Garfield County manager and former county attorney Andrew Gorgey, “Frank will be an immediate asset to the county and its elected officials. He is an excellent complement to our attorneys and legal staff, and I am very much looking forward to working with him.”
Hutfless succeeds Gorgey, who was named county manager on June 1. Assistant County Attorney Carey Gagnon will continue serving as acting county attorney until Hutfless arrives.
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