Ritter’s appointment of 9th Judicial District Deputy DA leaves big shoes to fill | PostIndependent.com

Ritter’s appointment of 9th Judicial District Deputy DA leaves big shoes to fill

Charles AgarAspen CorrespondentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

ASPEN, Colorado – Gov. Bill Ritter’s appointment of Deputy District Attorney Gail Nichols to a new judgeship earned a mixed reaction from her boss on Tuesday.”This is a great day for the 9th Judicial District,” said District Attorney Martin Beeson, but he called Nichols’ appointment a “bittersweet moment.” “She brings with her to the bench the perfect combination of character and integrity,” Beeson said, adding that Nichols has more than just the requisite legal knowledge.And while Nichols will fill an important role handling the rapidly growing case load in the valley, Beeson said her move is a major loss to the upvalley prosecutor’s office.”She leaves some very big shoes to be filled,” Beeson said.Chris Seldin, one of three finalists for the appointment, congratulated Nichols on Tuesday and said, “I’m sure she’ll do an outstanding job.”Nichols said she looks forward to the challenges of the new job.She’ll continue as deputy district attorney in Aspen until June 13, then prosecute one last trial before her last day on June 20.Her first day as judge is Tuesday, July 1.Chief Judge Boyd, who on Tuesday was out of town on vacation, will make all of the decisions about where Nichols will preside and how to avoid any issues over her ruling in cases where she’d been a prosecutor, Nichols said.Beeson said he is looking for candidates to fill Nichols’ job as deputy district attorney prosecuting felony cases in the upper valley.Beeson might send someone from his Glenwood Springs office to cover Aspen in the short term, and said that the high cost of living in the upper valley is a deterrent to potential candidates for the job.And there’s just no replacing Nichols, he added.”There is no other Gail Nichols,” Beeson said.cagar@aspentimes.com

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