Judge nominations finalized

Steamboat attorney, Grand County judge recommended


— Two women have been nominated by a commission to serve as a third judge in the 14th Judicial District.

Steamboat Springs attorney Tammy Jenson and Grand County Judge Mary C. Hoak have been nominated by a commission of six of their peers and Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex Martinez, ex-officio chairman of the commission, for appointment.

Jenson's and Hoak's names were sent to Gov. Bill Ritter for appointment Wednesday. The 14th Judicial Nominating Commission met in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday with four candidates who applied for the position.

Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James and Grand County attorney Steven A. Gall were the other applicants.

Ritter now has 15 days to choose who will be appointed to the judgeship, a position that was created when Ritter passed House Bill 1054. The new bill, which went into effect July 1, will put 43 new judges in place across the state. The new judge would serve Routt, Moffat and Grand counties. Whoever is appointed to the position will join Chief Judge Michael O'Hara and District Judge Shelley Hill. Hill was appointed to the position last year after former District Judge Paul McLimans retired.

Hoak said she is glad House Bill 1054 passed because the 14th Judicial District is among the first to receive an additional position.

"It's so needed," she said from Hot Sulphur Springs on Wednesday. "It's an exciting prospect to have another person to take on some of the caseload that (O'Hara and Hill) currently handle so diligently."

Along with Hill, Hoak was recommend to take McLimans' seat last year. Jenson applied for the position last year, but was not recommend by the committee.

"I'm back," Hoak said. "It's such an honor to be nominated once again. It's exciting news."

Jenson, who has been a public defender, deputy district attorney and is working as a private attorney, said she also is honored to have been nominated.

"Being a judge has been a lifelong goal of mine," she said. "I believe very strongly in justice and people being treated with dignity and respect."

Jenson said Tuesday's interviews were "slightly intimidating," but said she thinks her diverse career and ethnic background would make her a good judge.

"I think it'd be good for the bench to have the cultural and legal diversity I can offer," she said.

Jenson said she also thinks Hoak would be a good fit for the position.

"I think she's a great county court judge, and I think she'd be a great district court judge," she said. "Regardless of the outcome, I'm just happy and completely honored for the nomination."

Steamboat Springs attorney Ron Smith, who serves on the nominating commission, said he could not discuss the interview process due to confidentiality.

Rob McCallum, a spokesman for the Colorado Judicial Branch, said the nominating commission could have sent three names to Ritter.

"It's really at the discretion of the nominating commission which candidates it felt was most qualified for the position," he said. "Three is the maximum number of names that can be sent, but that's not required."

Public comment regarding Jenson or Hoak may be sent by e-mail to Ritter at judicial.apointments@state.co.us.


JQPUBLIC 9 years, 10 months ago

"Two women have been nominated".... "the nominating commission could have sent three names".... kind of sounds like they need to fill a "female" quota... All I can say is GOOD LUCK HOAK.... I don't know her but she has to be better than the alternative.

Jenson needs to learn what should and shouldn't be prosecuted and to keep her personal friendships out of the decision. She said ""I believe very strongly in justice and people being treated with dignity and respect."... She really needs to learn how to practice what she preaches!!

What is "legal diversity".... diversity means being different, isn't the law supposed to be the same for everyone? In this case I guess her past actions proves she has "legal diversity" and I don't think she has the capability of equal justice for all.


bolter 9 years, 10 months ago

So who do you think the commission should have nominated?


soozsboat 9 years, 10 months ago

Tammy Jensen would be a poor choice for a judge because she has demonstrated as district attorney that she does not study evidence seriously in her criminal cases. Specifically, I have observed her in court proceedings being ill prepared due to a lack of familiarity with the details in her own files. The result being that many cases are dropped due to her lack of preparation. What's more appalling was her failure to verify evidence (which turned out to be fraudulent) provided to her directly from a criminal defendent, that she relied on to dismiss charges. All that was required was for her to compare and contrast the evidence in her own files (which had been collected AND VERIFIED by the police) with the fraudulent evidence submitted by the criminal defendant, who was a convicted felon and still on probation at the time. If the review panel is interested, I would be happy to provide documentation to back up these allegations. To sum up, the criminal justice system is divided into two parts, the police that collect and verify the evidence and the district attorneys office that relies on that evidence to try the cases. Tammy Jensen violated this protocol leading to an improper dismissal of charges. DO WE WANT SOMEONE SERVING AS A JUDGE WHO DOESN'T KNOW OR FOLLOW THE PROTOCOLS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM? I hope not.


whyquestion 9 years, 10 months ago

Remember the WAGON WHEEL HOMEOWNERS trial. WHat a a fiasco that was.She appears to pander to friends.the accused had large legal fees to pay after WINNING their case!!!! Jensen was a poor DA and would make an unfair judge!!!!!!!!!!


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