John McHale: Barkey attitude unfair
March 12, 2014
It was with special interest that I read your article about Brett Barkey (“Failed negotiations lead to trials, with mixed success in Colorado’s 14th Judicial District,” March 2 Steamboat Pilot & Today), the Routt County district attorney, and his hard-line, my-way-or-the-highway attitude that any crime will be prosecuted to the fullest extent and making this community his personal Gulag.
I had the unpleasant experience of dealing with Barkey on the phone and briefly in person when I tried to advocate for a young soldier who was born and raised in Steamboat Springs. In between tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he came home for Christmas vacation. During this period, he was stopped and charged with DUI. He was over the legal limit at .12. This was, and is, the only bad mark on his otherwise clean record.
I and several members of our community pleaded with Barkey to consider the fact that this combat medic who had lost 11 members of his unit be afforded at least a deferred sentence, if not a dismissal. Barkey would not hear of it, even though Barkey was told that a conviction would result in his dismissal from the Army upon his return from Afghanistan, where he was getting mortared and shot at daily at his camp on the Pakistan border.
His welcome home and "Thank you for your service" by Steamboat and the D.A. was to be put on trial. He was found guilty, fined $2,500 and given one year probation and 40 hours of community service (the time in Iraq and Afghanistan didn't count).
The young soldier will be separating from the Army in August.
I hope the voters will thank Barkey for his "service" by voting him out of office.