District attorney plans to defend against recall

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— Fighting for her political future, 14th Judicial District Attorney Bonnie Roesink said Sunday she intends to make herself available to the public and defend her prosecutorial record.

"I'm here now, I'm talking," said Roesink, who's the focus of Craig resident Kathy Oberwitte's recall petition. "I'm going to try and let people know I do want my job, I do want to finish my term. : I am proud of my record. I think I've done a very good job.

"(Voters) are welcome to call with questions. I invite them to call me or come and see me at any time."

Roesink addressed an array of topics Sunday concerning her tenure as district attorney and what she hopes to accomplish with continued service.

She listed a 40 percent reduction in Moffat County felonies from 2005 to 2006, continued progress toward a drug court and a tough, yet even-handed, approach to prosecuting cases as highlights thus far.

Oberwitte and circulators in Moffat, Routt and Grand counties allege Roesink has led an office that lacks consistent prosecution and has been soft on crime.

Roesink countered the criticisms.

She said the felony reduction - 317 felonies, 131 drug cases in 2005 against 188 felonies and 71 drug cases in 2006 in Moffat County - is evidence that her office's prosecutions have helped reduce part of the area's drug problem.

"Bottom line, the meth has gone down," she said.

Her office, Roesink said, also was one of 40 in the country to receive grant money to attend drug court training last year. Roesink wrote the grant application.

The drug court, she said, will be instrumental in deterring methamphetamine use and distribution. Roesink hopes to launch the drug court in Moffat County and then expand it to Routt and Grand counties.

As for being soft on charging criminals, Roesink said she has learned to understand the difference between people selling drugs for profit and people selling drugs so they can continue using. She makes no bones about seeking strict punishment for the former.

The recall petition was triggered by the Dustin Lund-Michael Bailey fatality crash in February 2006. Lund was allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine when his vehicle collided with Bailey's.

However, a blood test confirming Lund's drug use was negated by improper procedure, making the test results inadmissible. Lt. Col. Dale King, regional commander of the Western Slope, said troopers had neither probable cause nor consent to withdraw blood from the suspect.

After reviewing the case, Roesink charged Lund with misdemeanor careless driving resulting in death, a charge she said was the lone avenue available given the botched handling of the Lund drug test.

The Morrison resident has pleaded guilty to the charge and faces a maximum sentence of one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine.

Comments

Magpie 7 years, 5 months ago

Rather than have everyone call her individually, this seems like a good topic for and SP&T Chat. Scott, do you think it would be appropriate to gather the most significant questions for the DA and do a chat with her?

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kingsride 7 years, 5 months ago

I cant support this recall. It is unfortunate that more serious charges could not be filed against Lund. It was the CSP that collected inadmissable evidence in this case. For the DA to have done anything different in this case would have been prosecutorial misconduct and unethical. The rest of the stuff...in my opinion is to throw everything else in and see what sticks. A better solution would be to vote for a better candidate, if there is one in the next election.

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katobe 7 years, 5 months ago

The recall effort IS NOT based solely on this one case. Maybe you should read the petition before you decide for or against. It is based on her inadequacies as DA for the past several years. ie: such as the vegetable bandits, filing felony hate crimes on 11 year old children, letting the meth abusers off with a slap on the wrist. etc. You have another one up there that needs to go with her and that is Kerry St. James. There are two viable candidates showing interest and willing to replace her if the recall petition is successful. You have 6 attorney's up there who are in support of this movement. She continues to put the blame on others but can't take any of the heat herself without getting people with clout to write letters in support of her. It is all up to the people.

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kingsride 7 years, 5 months ago

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree..nothing personal, I just dont believe this is the right course of action under the circumstances. peace.

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katobe 7 years, 5 months ago

Steamboat is more tentative on this issue. For those that won't sign there are those that are want to sign more than once if allowed. It is up to the people. Not just you and I. That is the beauty of democracy.

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whyquestion 7 years, 5 months ago

wouldn't it be nice if wall could have his own DA in place?????are the dems reaching for a hippie like comunity lax everthing????? why not take a look at oak creek????

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 5 months ago

Katobe- Forgive me if I'm wrong, but how can this statement really mean anything: "Steamboat is more tentative on this issue." This is a Moffat County issue and again, forgive me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Routt County residents will make the cut on a recall petition. In fact, it could jeopardize it making you think you have enough signatures when you actually don't.

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