Williams named acting county attorney
Garfield County commissioners Tuesday promoted Assistant County Attorney Tari Williams to the position of deputy county attorney, following the recent abrupt retirement of former County Attorney Frank Hutfless.
In her new role, Williams will also serve as acting county attorney for a period of time to be determined while the commissioners decide how to proceed with hiring a new county attorney.
Williams has worked for the Garfield County Attorney’s Office for three years. Prior to that, she had worked for the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office as a deputy district attorney, and as general counsel for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority.
She also managed commercial litigation nationally for Snap-on Inc., and had worked as a business litigation partner for a national full service law firm in Dallas for 12 years before moving to Garfield County. She is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Texas and California.
According to a county news release issued Tuesday evening, Williams will report directly to the Board of County Commissioners, including regular meetings with the commissioners “to ensure their priorities are addressed, and to prepare for weekly legal matters that come before the board in its regular meetings.”
She will also work with other elected officials, the county manager and county administrative departments to prioritize their projects.
“I am very excited to be serving Garfield County in a more advanced capacity, and am confident that we can continue to represent the legal interests of the county with our current professional legal staff,” the release quoted Williams as saying. “I will focus on the basics of what a county law office does to meet the needs of county elected officials, administration and departments, in accordance with applicable law.”
Commissioners also formally accepted the resignation Tuesday of Hutfless, who, according to commission Chairman John Martin, chose two weeks ago to retire. Hutfless could not be reached for comment, but the deal did involve severance pay.
According to information requested by the Post Independent and provided by the county Tuesday, Hutfless is to be paid the full extent of the three-month severance deal outlined in his contract, worth $37,500.
Hutfless, a former Jefferson County attorney, had been Garfield County attorney since October 2012. He was named county attorney in August of that year, replacing now-County Manager Andrew Gorgey in the lead counsel’s role.
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The Basalt-based Roaring Fork Conservancy celebrated its 25th anniversary this month. The changes wrought by climate change mean the conservancy will have plenty of issues to work on in the next 25 years.