GarCo attorney Hutfless retires |

GarCo attorney Hutfless retires

Frank Hutfless, who has been the lead attorney for Garfield County government since August 2012, has decided to retire, according to County Commission Chairman John Martin.

The decision was made two weeks ago, and Hutfless’s last day was Friday, Martin said Monday.

“He chose to retire,” Martin said. “I am disappointed. I lost a good ally, and we lost a good attorney. Frank has been an advocate and a strong voice on public lands issues and legislation.”

Hutfless did not return a phone call seeking comment on his decision.

He was named county attorney by the commissioners in August 2012, at the time replacing Andrew Gorgey who had been hired earlier that year as county attorney, and was later named county manager. Gorgey remains in that position.

Hutfless, 68, was the Jefferson County attorney on two different occasions in the 1990s and 2000s. He had also worked for a time as lead counsel for Bullion River Gold Corp. of Reno, Nevada, from 2007-09 before taking time off to travel.

He was living in Golden when he decided to apply for the Garfield County job, and is reportedly looking to relocate there.

As counsel for Garfield County, Hutfless has taken a lead role on numerous public lands issues, including the county’s involvement in researching historic rights of way into public lands.

He was also instrumental on the legal end of the county’s efforts last year to convince the state to do away with the resort rating area for health insurance, which had resulted in significantly higher rates in Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin and Summit counties than in other parts of the state.

Those areas are now included in a broader West Slope rate area, which resulted in more favorable rates.

Assistant County Attorney Tari Williams served as lead counsel during the Monday commissioners meeting. Martin said the next steps in naming a new county attorney are to be discussed during a special commissioners meeting Tuesday morning.

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