Three finalists in mix to replaceOssola as 9th District judge
The search for retiring 9th Judicial District Judge Thomas Ossola’s replacement is getting close to the end. Members of the 9th Judicial Nominating Committee selected three finalists last week, leaving Colorado Gov. Bill Owens 15 days to select a new district judge. The finalists are the district’s current chief deputy district attorney, Gretchen Larson of New Castle; Garfield County Magistrate Daniel B. Petre of Glenwood Springs; and former Pitkin County commissioner and attorney James R. True of Aspen. Ossola announced in late June that he plans to step down Nov. 1 after more than 28 years on the bench. He’ll be the second 9th District judge to step down in as many years. Ex-9th District Judge J.E. DeVilbiss retired in 2003.Although Ossola is retiring from his full-time duties, he has said he plans to enter the state’s senior judge program. In this program, retired judges make themselves available for 60 days a year – or five days a month – to fill in for judges throughout the state who are on vacation or on leave. Ossola was first appointed to the Garfield County Court bench in 1976. He was appointed to serve as a 9th District Court judge on Feb. 1, 1980, and in that position has heard criminal and civil cases. He also has served as water judge for Water Division No. 5, and since 1991 has continuously served as chief judge for the Ninth Judicial District. His responsibilities as chief judge have included administrative work involving the district’s budget, personnel management, oversight of court buildings, assignment of cases and county court supervision.His responsibilities as chief judge have included administrative work involving the district’s budget, personnel management, oversight of court buildings, assignment of cases and county court supervision.
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