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Six cases dropped due to DA lapse

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Six criminal cases have now been dismissed since the 9th District Attorney’s Office disclosed in April 2003 that it failed to hand over evidence to defense attorneys.

The first two cases, both felonies, were dropped during the summer of 2003. Since then, four other cases ” including two drunken driving convictions ” have been dropped.

Myers released the names of all defendants in each of these cases, but their ages and hometowns were not available Friday.



The Post Independent’s policy is to not publish names of defendants without that additional identifying information, according to managing editor Heather McGregor.

In addition to the six dropped cases, 10 felony cases ” including one where the defendant faced up to a life term in prison ” had charge reductions or early completion of probation.



The cases all pertained to people who were arrested or investigated by Silt police detective Michael Williams, who resigned May 2, 2003.

Myers’ office discovered in early 2003 that “potential impeachment information” about Williams was not consistently disclosed to defense attorneys.

The potential impeachment information consisted of a document stating that when Williams was a police officer at the Frisco Police Department, he was arrested on felony charges of attempting to influence a public servant and tampering with physical evidence in a drunken driving arrest. Williams allegedly administered an alcohol breath test twice and threw away the lower results of the first test.

Williams later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of first-degree official misconduct and was forced to resign from the Frisco Police Department in 1997.

When Williams was hired as a full-time Silt officer in 1999, Myers says his office implemented a policy of informing all defense attorneys whose clients were arrested by Williams that the officer had a conviction on his record in Summit County.

That information was supposed to be given to defense attorneys as they prepared for trials or advised their clients about their cases. It could have allowed attorneys to raise questions about Williams’ credibility as an investigator or a witness in those cases.

But Myers admitted in an April 10, 2003, letter that the potential impeachment notice might not have been consistently distributed.

Williams resigned from the Silt Police Department on May 2, less than a month after Myers sent copies of that letter to area defense attorneys.

Myers’ office later determined that Williams worked on 190 criminal cases being handled by the district attorney’s office. As of Friday, 41 cases had been reviewed.

Myers said while the cases disrupted the judicial system, it was not major.

Public defender Greg Greer filed a complaint with the Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Counsel John Gleason against the D.A.’s office for its failure to disclose the Williams evidence to defense attorneys.

Gleason ruled in a Sept. 30 letter to Greer that his office would not take disciplinary action against the district attorney’s office, an announcement Myers called “a clean bill of health.”

But Greer said that just because Myers’ office wasn’t disciplined, that doesn’t mean that Myers’ office has a clean bill of health.

“They did not prosecute the grievance because it has to be intentional conduct and they have to prove that conduct,” Greer said. “There’s a lot between intentional conduct and innocence. I read Mac’s comments, ‘clean bill of health.’ I don’t think that’s true. It’s a little less than a clean bill of health.”

Greer then pointed to Gleason’s words at the end of the letter, and said he’d let those words “sum it up.”

“We fully understand why you brought these matters to our attention,” Gleason wrote, “and believe that it was appropriate for you to do so. We share your concerns and have expressed them to Mr. Myers.”

Greer said the backlash from the D.A.’s withholding of evidence is finally near its end.

“There’s a couple (cases) in holding. We’re waiting for some DNA testing on another case,” Greer said.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

gmasse@postindependent.comBy Greg Masse

Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Six criminal cases have now been dismissed since the 9th District Attorney’s Office disclosed in April 2003 that it failed to hand over evidence to defense attorneys.

The first two cases, both felonies, were dropped during the summer of 2003. Since then, four other cases ” including two drunken driving convictions ” have been dropped.

Myers released the names of all defendants in each of these cases, but their ages and hometowns were not available Friday.

The Post Independent’s policy is to not publish names of defendants without that additional identifying information, according to managing editor Heather McGregor.

In addition to the six dropped cases, 10 felony cases ” including one where the defendant faced up to a life term in prison ” had charge reductions or early completion of probation.

The cases all pertained to people who were arrested or investigated by Silt police detective Michael Williams, who resigned May 2, 2003.

Myers’ office discovered in early 2003 that “potential impeachment information” about Williams was not consistently disclosed to defense attorneys.

The potential impeachment information consisted of a document stating that when Williams was a police officer at the Frisco Police Department, he was arrested on felony charges of attempting to influence a public servant and tampering with physical evidence in a drunken driving arrest. Williams allegedly administered an alcohol breath test twice and threw away the lower results of the first test.

Williams later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of first-degree official misconduct and was forced to resign from the Frisco Police Department in 1997.

When Williams was hired as a full-time Silt officer in 1999, Myers says his office implemented a policy of informing all defense attorneys whose clients were arrested by Williams that the officer had a conviction on his record in Summit County.

That information was supposed to be given to defense attorneys as they prepared for trials or advised their clients about their cases. It could have allowed attorneys to raise questions about Williams’ credibility as an investigator or a witness in those cases.

But Myers admitted in an April 10, 2003, letter that the potential impeachment notice might not have been consistently distributed.

Williams resigned from the Silt Police Department on May 2, less than a month after Myers sent copies of that letter to area defense attorneys.

Myers’ office later determined that Williams worked on 190 criminal cases being handled by the district attorney’s office. As of Friday, 41 cases had been reviewed.

Myers said while the cases disrupted the judicial system, it was not major.

Public defender Greg Greer filed a complaint with the Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Counsel John Gleason against the D.A.’s office for its failure to disclose the Williams evidence to defense attorneys.

Gleason ruled in a Sept. 30 letter to Greer that his office would not take disciplinary action against the district attorney’s office, an announcement Myers called “a clean bill of health.”

But Greer said that just because Myers’ office wasn’t disciplined, that doesn’t mean that Myers’ office has a clean bill of health.

“They did not prosecute the grievance because it has to be intentional conduct and they have to prove that conduct,” Greer said. “There’s a lot between intentional conduct and innocence. I read Mac’s comments, ‘clean bill of health.’ I don’t think that’s true. It’s a little less than a clean bill of health.”

Greer then pointed to Gleason’s words at the end of the letter, and said he’d let those words “sum it up.”

“We fully understand why you brought these matters to our attention,” Gleason wrote, “and believe that it was appropriate for you to do so. We share your concerns and have expressed them to Mr. Myers.”

Greer said the backlash from the D.A.’s withholding of evidence is finally near its end.

“There’s a couple (cases) in holding. We’re waiting for some DNA testing on another case,” Greer said.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

gmasse@postindependent.com


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