Senior prosecutor Eret leaving DA’s office

In the eyes of those who worked with and against her, Mesa County Chief Deputy District Attorney Tammy Eret was about the best at handling the worst.

But it came at a cost.

Eret has supervised or handled most of the sexual assaults and felony crimes against children, among other prosecutions, for the district attorney’s office.

“My kids don’t get to do things sometimes, such as sleep-overs,” Eret, a mother of four, said in a recent interview. “Just because of the things I’ve seen and my position, you have to be very guarded.”

Things are about to change.

Eret, a supervisor and senior prosecutor who joined District Attorney Pete Hautzinger’s team shortly after his election in 2004, offered her resignation last week in a meeting with Hautzinger.

Eret, who is in the middle of a five-week murder trial against 52-year-old Miriam Helmick, will leave the district attorney’s office in early January to work for local law firm Hoskin, Farina and Kampf. Eret said she will work in a still-undetermined area of civil law. Her current boss on Friday said he’s happy she won’t be in criminal defense.

“She’s one of the most dedicated and talented trial prosecutors I’ve ever seen, one of the best in the state, and I hate to lose her,” Hautzinger said.

Eret said her future employer made an offer she couldn’t turn down.

“It’s good for myself and my family,” she said.

Eret had been in private practice with Rich Tuttle and Dan Rubinstein before the trio closed shop to go to work for Hautzinger in January 2005.

Tuttle is assistant district attorney and Rubinstein a chief deputy district attorney,

Eret worked under former Mesa County District Attorney Frank Daniels from 1996 to 2002.

The disturbing elements of many of the cases she handled in the district attorney’s office could be haunting, and it was difficult not to take that home with her, she said. But she takes great pride in the good she was able to do on behalf of victims.

“When dealing with child victims, I always felt like I was doing something important,” Eret said. “It’s special to be the voice of a child.”

Eret’s passion and courtroom savvy were obvious to those who faced her.

Ed Nugent, a local defense lawyer and president of the Mesa County Bar Association, said he went up against Eret several times.

“You always knew you had to be well-prepared when she was on the other side of the case,” he said. “This is a big loss for the DA’s office.”


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