District attorney updates officials

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District Attorney Bonnie Roesink updated county leaders Tuesday about the number of court cases she expects for 2005, the current drug problems the county is facing and other concerning issues.

Roesink is the district attorney for the 14th Judicial District, which covers Routt, Moffat and Grand counties.

Roesink told the Routt County Board of Commission-ers and County Manager Tom Sullivan that the district is running smoothly now that two new attorneys have been hired and with a fully-staffed office.

"We're very pleased with the work our new attorneys are doing," Roesink said.

Deputy District Attorney Tammy Harrell was hired in February for Routt County, and Deputy District Attorney Erik Olson recently was hired to work in Moffat County.

Roesink also presented the board with some preliminary statistics she compiled from 2004 to project the number of court cases Routt County will see in 2005.

Felonies are up in Routt County, and the county most likely will see about 50 more cases in the courts this year than last year, she said. Roesink also said that traffic violations are high in Routt County and that misdemeanors are "way high."

Last year, there were 4,457 cases in Routt County, including felonies, traffic violations, misdemeanors and juvenile cases.

Using the half-year statistics for 2005, Roesink estimates there will be about 4,780 cases this year, up about 300 cases.

"There is no huge increase or decrease in the case numbers, and I think we're right on track," she said.

Roesink also updated the board about the current state of methamphetamine cases.

Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger asked Roesink whether she was seeing any trends with the "continuing meth epidemic." Roesink told the board that she is keeping track of all the drug cases in the county and working on some potential programs that might help with the drug issues the county is facing.

"We have been trying to do a lot of seminars and education in the community about meth," Roesink said.

The District Attorney's Office also is looking to start several programs that would deal with meth addicts. Currently, there are programs in Glenwood Springs and Montrose that Roesink is looking to model the programs after.

"We've been coming up with ideas, because this is an awful problem with young people," she said.

The last thing Roesink brought to the board was a future budget request to add Public Employees Retirement Association as a benefit for her employees.

"If we got PERA, we would be able to get people with experience and keep them," Roesink said.

Roesink is meeting with her staff in July, and 60 percent of them would have to vote in favor of getting PERA before she could apply for it.

Monger was concerned about where the money for the benefits would come from and suggested that some money come from employee salaries.

"That's going to be pretty tough," Monger said.

Roesink will come back to the Board of County Commissioners in the middle of July with more statistics and, possibly, a PERA representative to answer the commissioners' questions.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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