9th DA: Suit against her dropped

The town of Marble has dropped a lawsuit against 9th Judicial District Attorney Sherry Caloia and she won’t have to make any payment to the town, she said Thursday.

Caloia said the town trustees voted to drop the suit Wednesday, and a stipulation of dismissal was to be filed later today.

Under the agreed-upon terms of the stipulation, “Each party pays their own fees and costs,” Caloia said in an e-mail to reporters.

Marble has about 100 people in it and is in Gunnison County, south of Carbondale. Caloia represents Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties.

Marble had sued last July in connection with alleged embezzlement by Karen Mulhall, the former town clerk and manager. Mulhall also worked as a legal assistant and bookkeeper for Caloia’s law firm before Caloia was elected as DA in 2012, at a time when Caloia also represented the town.

The lawsuit said Mulhall embezzled at least $329,889 from the town. She died in October 2012. It said Caloia failed to exercise proper supervision and accounting controls to prevent risk to the town and should have investigated and/or discovered the embezzlement.

In response filings in court, Caloia denied having had an obligation to control Mulhall’s actions in connection with Mulhall’s employment with the town, and suggested that if any such obligation existed, it also might have extended to town officials and other attorneys who served the town.

The lawsuit came up in another case when a deputy public defender said in a motion that Caloia couldn’t handle another theft prosecution fairly because embarrassment over the suit would make her want to appear tough on theft cases. A judge reportedly rejected that motion’s call to have the other case handled by a special prosecutor.

Caloia has said she also was a victim of embezzlement by Mulhall.




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