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Letter: Cheney right for DA

I want to take this opportunity to express my support of Jeff Cheney for DA. I have known Jeff for nearly 15 years and had the privilege to work with him prior to retiring from the sheriff’s office in 2014. Jeff is a man of strong moral character, honesty, integrity and he approached every case with the best interest of the victim and the safety of the citizens of the 9thJudicial District in mind.

As a supervisor of investigations over the majority of my career, Jeff and I worked directly on several major felony cases, including homicides, and there were times when we would disagree on certain issues. Regardless, we remained professional insisted we work together as professionals to put together the very best case to bring about justice for the victim and keep our communities safe.

We knew that although we had different roles, the end goal was always what was in the best interest of the victim(s) and what would keep our community safe. One of the things that impressed me about Jeff was that he was one of only a few attorneys who would actually come to a major crime scene, night or day, so he could understand the big picture of a case. Later, when we would observe him in trial prosecuting the case, we saw that he had started preparing at the very moment we began working together on the case. This meant a lot to us in law enforcement.

Prior to my retirement, I worked with the Caloia office and I have to say that I was extremely disappointed. From the very beginning, the very first meeting I had with her and some of her staff (former ADA Scott Turner), I felt that she was disingenuous and not at all prepared to lead the district attorney’s office.

In our very first meeting regarding a cold homicide case that we had worked for eight years, which a judge held over after a preliminary hearing for first-degree murder, she and Turner told Sheriff Vallario and me that they were prepared to go to trial. When I questioned their readiness for trial, keeping in mind this was near the end of January with the trial set for early April, I was told very cavalierly that they would be ready.

An eight-year investigation into a cold homicide case that they had never been a part of and they were going to be prepared? I knew from that moment that they were not being honest and approximately two weeks later, I was informed they were seeking a plea.

After I retired, I had a conversation with Jeff Cheney and he said that he had approached Caloia about that same case the December prior to our meeting and she told Jeff that she thought the case needed to be plea bargained. This was before she even took office and certainly before she would have had the chance to evaluate the case and meet with the victim’s family. Her actions disappointed the family of the victim and they were extremely upset about how Ms. Caloia handled the homicide case.

The 9th Judicial District deserves to have someone who is honest and holds the office to highest regard and understands that goal of the DA and of law enforcement is to bring about justice for its citizens and keep our communities safe. Jeff Cheney is that person.

Bill Middleton
Battlement Mesa


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Letter To The Editor