DA recall petition entering final stage

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— Up against an April 9 deadline, a committee attempting to oust 14th Judicial District Attorney Bonnie Roesink has begun its final push to acquire necessary petition signatures.

Craig resident Kathy Oberwitte, who began the recall process after a disagreement arose with Roesink in January regarding a criminal case, said 80 people circulating the petition began going door to door Monday in Moffat and Routt counties.

"This is our last push, kind of like 'The heat is on' campaign," Oberwitte said. "I'm optimistic we'll get the signatures, let's put it that way."

She said the final charge also would include circulating the petition at community events, as well as advertising on the radio and in the newspaper.

According to the Colorado Secretary of State's Office, Oberwitte and her circulators have 60 days to acquire 3,802 signatures, or 25 percent of the votes cast for Roesink in her unopposed 2004 election victory.

Oberwitte said she didn't know exactly how many signatures the committee has obtained thus far, but that the number is more than 2,000. Her goal is 6,000 signatures.

"We got started and there was a huge push," Oberwitte said of the recall effort that began in February. "Then we were idle for a while. Now there is a big push again."

Meanwhile, Roesink has remained relatively quiet in public about the recall process. She has denied all allegations raised in the petition, and many of her colleagues have voiced support for Roesink.

On Tuesday afternoon, Roesink said she was considering whether to actively campaign against the recall petition, and that area law enforcement officers and district attorneys have vowed to write letters of support on her behalf.

Roesink also said she wanted to remain district attorney.

"Yes, at this point I still want to keep my job," she said.

Oberwitte's recall petition stems from her disagreement with Roesink regarding the handling of a case about her brother, the late Michael Bailey, of Craig. Bailey died in February 2006 in a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 40.

Oberwitte lobbied Roesink to file harsher criminal charges against the second driver in the crash, Morrison resident Dustin Lund, who was allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine. After researching the case, Roesink concluded that evidence in the case had been tainted and that admissible evidence warranted a misdemeanor charge.

Lund, who is charged with careless driving resulting in death, is scheduled to appear in Routt County Court at 2 p.m. today for a disposition hearing.

The recall petition alleges the district attorney has been the cause of "unprecedented" employee turnover, directed an office that lacks consistent prosecution and has allowed the plea-bargaining of "serious felony cases," among other complaints.

It also states Roesink has "lost the confidence of the public, law enforcement and others in the criminal justice system."

If the recall petition is validated, a special election date would be scheduled. That election would include two questions, said Jonathan Tee, a spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office.

"You're really conducting two elections in one ballot," Tee said. "Should (Roesink) be recalled, and if so, vote for who should replace her."

Candidates vying to replace the district attorney would get their names on the ballot through the normal process - circulating a petition and acquiring signatures of registered voters.

Comments

Magpie 7 years, 1 month ago

Since she ran unopposed, do the petitioners have any idea who will step up to replace her if they are successful? And will the replacement be any better?

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MC 7 years ago

Maybe not, but anything would be better than the current one. This DA is soft on drug offenders, perverts, drunk drivers and harsh on kids getting in fights at school. She wanted to prosecute a 10 year old for getting in a scuffle at school but has let meth dealers and makers go free, go figure. Gramnet had 15 people arrested a couple years ago for various meth offense's, they all are back within the community, maybe even Steamboat. Kathy's brother was KILLED by an individual that had been driving too long AND was high on meth at the time of the accident. IF we are going to curtail this drug problem and send a message that this activity WILL NOT BE TOLERATED, we must have a DA that is tough on drug offenders. Remember, this affects Routt AND Grand counties as well. The citizens of Moffat County are determined to put these meth users, makers and dealers out of business. Where are they going to go when Craig runs them out? Maybe to a community near you. She is behind every plea-bargain that will make you groan when reading about it in the paper. I urge everyone that is concerned about the serious problems in our district to get out, find a petition and sign her out of office. There will be a booth at the spring expo, at the centennial mall in Craig, at the end of the month where you can easily sign up. Thank you.

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MC 7 years ago

Sorry, BTW there are several local attorneys that have voiced an interest in her job.

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Magpie 7 years ago

I just wanted to know what the petitioners were thinking. I do not agree with the thinking that "anything is better than the current one." I'm sure there are lots worse and having a void and someone being pressured into taking the position might well be worse than someone who at least wants the job.

I would be more inclined to sign the petition and vote her out if I knew who was available to take her place, what their qualifications are and why they would be better than her.

From what I have read about her, I don't think she is doing a very good job, but I will reiterate that I have a strong, negative reaction to the "anything is better" thinking.

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MC 7 years ago

I may be wrong on this but I do not believe it is up to the petitioners on who will replace her. The petition is only to prove there is enough interest to have the recall vote. When the vote takes place there should be a ballot with the names of those wishing to replace her. Hopefully before all that takes place we will know their names and what qualifications they posess. The recall petition is just the first step for those interested in a different approach to ridding this area of serious crime. The claim of "anything is better" is of my own thinking and does not reflect the thinking of any other petitioner. I have a young daughter who will be growing up in this community and I would prefer that those that take it upon themselves to distribute this poison do it somewhere else but here. So far she has done NOTHING to make them go elsewhere. Thank you for your input.

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Magpie 7 years ago

You are right, it is not up to the petitioners to decide who will replace her, but I think they will have more success if they can talk about who might replace her and why they are better.

While you are the one who posted the "anything is better" claim, from reading the articles about this, it is the impression I got of Kathy. And while I completely agree that her brother's case was not handled well, I would still like to know that we have qualified candidates to replace before deciding to try to recall.

I understand and feel your concern about keeping the poison away from our kids. We just had a family talk about meth last night and how trying it even once can addict you and mess up your life.

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MC 7 years ago

The impression you have of Kathy is wrong. The case involving her brother was the, how should we say, "straw that broke the camel's back". She basically has had enough of the DA's incompetence and so have many other residents of this community. There is a process that will take place after the petition has been validated by the state and the candidates that are interested will come forth and reveal themselves. Even you, or me, or the guy down the street could run. I am not qualified so that takes me out. I have heard of two people so far, one from Craig and one from Steamboat that are interested. My sole purpose in this effort is because I am tired of plea-bargains going to the wrong people and the continued rise of meth use without any enforcement by her office. The cops are out there busting them but when they get to her they leave the office with a sore wrist. We need better than that.

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katobe 7 years ago

Think what you want of me but at least I'm not afraid to stand up for my beliefs and the Colorado Constitution of Victim's Rights. It is the people who came to me asking that I step into that batter's box with a recall effort. If you are confused about the process you need to contact your clerk & recorders office. In regards to other opinions contact any attorney up in Steamboat. We do live a country that supports democracy.

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justice4all 7 years ago

Just recently rosink stated in this paper that meth use was down per her stats. could be that it is because she is not prosecuting the cases. she should read todays craig dailys front page and see what the e r doctor says. his story is quite different and since he is actually treating the o d's i feel that his stats are much more accurate. may be the the difference is because he is actually hands on. rosink certainly is not. we have a chance to get rid of her and some of her worthless staff, keep the good ones and have a good d a office again. vote recall and take someone with you!!!!!!

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MC 7 years ago

Give billybob a cigar cause he hit the nail on the head. Stats ARE down, more than likely due to inneffective prosecution. Case study(public record)pulled recently showed her dropping felony meth possesion charges and prosecuting misdemeanor paraphinalia(sp?)charges(one example out of a hundred). Is that effective justice? People, if we are going to drive these users, dealers and makers out of our area we need TOUGH justice. Enough of this criminal rights crap, when it comes to the poison they produce and distribute to our children, they have no rights. Her office affords the criminals more rights than the victims get. Time to give her the boot. The effort is in it's final week so if you have not gotten out to sign, please do so.

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