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Search is on for a new Garfield County attorney

John Colson
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The effort is on to find a new Garfield County attorney, following the recent selection of a California search firm.

The Garfield County commissioners on Jan. 24 picked the firm of Peckham and McKenney, of Sacramento, Calif., to conduct the search to replace recently retired Don DeFord, who announced his impending departure in late November, 2010, in a letter to county staff members.

When asked about the decision last December, DeFord said simply that he and the commissioners “agreed that I’m going to end my term as county attorney” after 25 years in the office.



According to county manager Ed Green, the commissioners did not impose any criteria for DeFord’s replacement at the Jan. 24 meeting.

But, Green said, the commissioners will be meeting with representatives of Peckham and McKenney in February in Glenwood Springs, and that the criteria for the search is likely to be settled then.



At the same time as the meeting with the commissioners, Green said, the search team will meet with heads of county departments and staff of the county attorney’s office.

That office currently is being headed by interim county attorney Carolyn Dahlgren, who was DeFord’s chief deputy.

Dahlgren has told the Post Independent that she has no interest in taking DeFord’s place, and Green said he was not aware of any others currently working in the attorney’s office who want the job.

According to Green, the search itself probably will be launched in February, using the Internet and more traditional networking.

Green said the search firm was chosen in part because Phil McKenney has had some experience working in municipal government in Colorado, as well as for the ski industry, “so they [the BOCC] felt that he had relevant experience.”

Green said he expects to interview leading candidates by late April or early May, and to have an attorney on the job by June or July.

The salary range, he said, “will be in the $125,000-$135,000 range, would be my guess.”

jcolson@postindependent.com


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