Lynch named to district court bench |

Lynch named to district court bench

Assistant Garfield County Attorney Denise K. Lynch will succeed the late T. Peter Craven on the 9th Judicial District Court bench.

Gov. Bill Owens selected Lynch Tuesday from a pool of three applicants, including Public Defender Jamie Roth and Glenwood Springs lawyer Mark E. Hamilton.

“I just hope I can make Judge Craven proud,” Lynch said. “I’m honored, actually. I really am ” and nervous and excited.”

No date has been set for Lynch’s swearing-in as district judge, but she said it would take at least two weeks for her to tie up loose ends in the county attorney’s office.

Owens’ press secretary Dan Hopkins said the governor was impressed with Lynch’s credentials, partly because she has a strong background in private practice and as a member of several Colorado legal organizations.

Lynch has worked for Garfield County since 2002 and practiced law privately for more than 20 years. A native of Ypsilanti, Mich., Lynch graduated from Michigan State University and, in 1982, received her law degree from Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich.

District Attorney Martin Beeson said he doesn’t know Lynch well, but he expects she will be a good judge.

“Morally, they don’t come any better than her,” he said.

Glenwood Springs attorney Ted Hess said that as a lawyer, Lynch has shown herself to be patient and rational.

“There’s every indication she’s going to be an excellent judge,” Hess said.

Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said he is excited that Lynch will become the next district judge.

“Denise has the same kind of values I do,” he said. “She’s got good experience. She should be on the bench for a long time.”

Lynch said her tenure has judge will be a great intellectual challenge, and before she takes her seat on the court, she has some homework to do.

“There’s no lawyer that knows all aspects of the law,” she said. “I’ll be needing to do a lot of studying. There’s going to be a lot of after-hours and evening work.”

She said in July she wanted to become a judge “to administer justice.”

“Judges are extremely important, and I think I’d be fair, I think I’d be impartial, I think I know the law pretty well.”

Craven died June 20 of a heart attack while riding his bicycle in Aspen.

Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. 520

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