Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed Brett Barkey as the new district attorney in the 14th Judicial District on Monday, replacing Elizabeth Oldham, who resigned the office for a position in Arapahoe County. Barkey, a Hayden resident, is also running for the office as a Republican in November's election.

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Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed Brett Barkey as the new district attorney in the 14th Judicial District on Monday, replacing Elizabeth Oldham, who resigned the office for a position in Arapahoe County. Barkey, a Hayden resident, is also running for the office as a Republican in November's election.

Governor appoints new DA in 14th Judicial District

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Elizabeth Oldham

— Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Monday the appointment of Brett Barkey as district attorney for the 14th Judicial District, which includes Moffat, Routt and Grand counties.

Barkey, a Hayden resident, was hired in August 2011 as assistant district attorney in the 14th Judicial District, and he has been based in the Routt County office.

Barkey’s appointment was prompted by former District Attorney Elizabeth Oldham's decision to resign last month. She has accepted a position as a senior deputy district attorney in Arapahoe County.

“I feel privileged and honored to be appointed,” Barkey said. “I’m obviously grateful to the governor for having made the appointment, and I express appreciation to Elizabeth Oldham for her eight years of service to the community and the DA’s office, including the last four as the elected DA.”

Barkey announced his candidacy for district attorney in December 2011 after Oldham announced she would not seek an additional term. A Republican, he is the only candidate running for the office in November's election.

Barkey is in his second stint with the District Attorney's Office.

Bonnie Roesink, who served as district attorney from 2003 to 2009, hired Barkey as chief deputy district attorney in Moffat County. She said she hoped Barkey would run for district attorney in 2009.

But after 10 months, Barkey resigned in March 2008 to serve as a U.S. Marine Corps prosecutor in New Orleans.

“He left our district after just about a year, and I think it is great he has returned and is running for district attorney this time,” Roesink said. “I think he’ll do a great job, and it’s going to be a very good thing to have him as the 14th Judicial District Attorney.”

Each county in the judicial district has an office in each courthouse. As district attorney, Barkey said he will remain in Routt County for the short term because of its central location.

Personnel decisions, including his replacement as assistant district attorney, could be made by the end of the week.

“We wanted Elizabeth to have a day where we expressed our appreciation to her, and that was Friday,” Barkey said. “Today is the day we got the news about the governor’s announcement. The next step is to make the personnel announcements that are appropriate to keep things moving along.”

Although Barkey learned about his appointment Monday, he said at least one prominent person in the judicial district has known since Friday.

“Apparently Judge (Michael) O’Hara, who is the chief judge of the district, was in touch with the Attorney General’s Office and received a signed letter from the governor on Friday, but the news didn’t get filtered down to us until today,” Barkey said.

“I’m proud of the team, the work that we do, and I look forward to continuing the strong partnership with law enforcement, community advocates and other stakeholders in the criminal justice process.”

Oldham has moved out of her office in Grand County and could not be reached for comment Monday.

But Roesink said the former DA will not be forgotten.

“Elizabeth did an amazing job representing the district,” Roesink said. “She’s done a great job as a trial attorney handling all of the murder and serious felony cases. She’s going to be missed.”

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

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