Lawyers may change in fraud suspect’s case |

Lawyers may change in fraud suspect’s case

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

A local interior designer accused of defrauding her clients, among others, appeared very briefly in court on Thursday, where she learned not only that her attorney may soon be out of the picture, but the lead prosecutor as well.

Shawnee Ryan, 53, was arrested last May and charged with defrauding clients out of thousands of dollars, following a year-long investigation by area law enforcement agencies.

According to court documents and officials, approximately 40 people claim to have been “victimized” by Ryan’s allegedly deceptive business practices, which reportedly included her operating interior design businesses – under several different names – and failing to live up to commitments for services and materials.

This was her second time in court this week. The first was on Sept. 15, before Magistrate Holly Strablizky, and also was a brief appearance.

In court on Thursday, Ryan said little as Public Defender Stephen McCrohan asked for a continuance of her case in order to familiarize himself with the particulars of the files.

His office only recently agreed to represent Ryan, according to reports, although McCrohan would not discuss exactly when he was assigned to the case.

As of a Sept. 3 story in the Post Independent, prosecutor Jonathan Pototsky was quoted as saying that as far as he knew, Ryan was not being represented by an attorney.

According to Chief Public Defender Jim Conway, McCrohan is expected to leave the public defender’s office soon to take a job elsewhere.

The judge on Thursday agreed to a continuance until Nov. 4.

As the court prepared to move on to another case, Pototsky rose to say that his office will work with McCrohan to bring him up to speed on the case.

But, Pototsky added, another attorney may soon take over the prosecution of the case, as he has been nominated to become the next county judge at the court in Rifle, 25 miles west of Glenwood Springs.

He said he was not sure which of the deputy district attorneys would take his place, if he should get the appointment by Gov. Bill Ritter.

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