Come clean, Colleen
District Attorney Colleen Truden needs to come clean.No more hiding behind misstatements, half-truths or the such.The cloud of deception that hangs over her office is not healthy.Let’s review some quick facts:Three former assistant district attorneys who recently resigned have said they were terminated before their agreed end date and escorted out of their office. Truden says that did not happen.In fact, she recently denied that before Pitkin County commissioners. Since then two former employees have gone on record as saying Truden is lying.Truden also has been inconsistent regarding her husband, Fred Truden. At various times, she has referred to him as a volunteer, a consultant, or that she didn’t pay him. In a meeting Monday before Garfield County Commissioners, Truden said she had paid him for computer work he did – as kind of an emergency stopgap. She didn’t mention that she fired a local computer company, Micro Solutions, before hiring her husband to do her office’s computer work.Part of her job as an elected official is clear communication. It should be pretty easy for Truden to say what she means the first time, clearly, without mistake.Another part of her job as an elected official is communicating with the press. With a few scant exceptions in the past couple of weeks, Truden has done a fine job of dodging the media’s questions.She also has dodged various Freedom of Information requests for records out of her office.All this – and more – adds up to the cloud of deception that hangs over Truden right now.Inconsistencies, lies, nontruths – whatever – Truden is walking a fine line. She has lost the public’s confidence. This issue is important. It goes to the credibility of the entire 9th Judicial District, which encompasses Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties.If the district’s top gun is lying or has a cloud of deception hanging over her office, well then, what does that say? Who knows how that might play in court in future cases.The criminal justice system Truden serves has an adage: The truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth.That’s exactly what Truden needs to do. Grant the FOI requests, answer the tough questions from the media, and work on her communication skills.If she doesn’t, she should resign – or face an inevitable recall election.
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