Gov.-elect Hickenlooper to pick DA in Montrose

Seventh Judicial District Attorney Myrl Serra’s resignation means Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper will appoint Serra’s replacement, trumping a chief district court judge’s order that a Montrose criminal-defense attorney serve as the acting district attorney.

Chief District Judge Steven Patrick had appointed defense attorney Dan Hotsenpiller, a former U.S. attorney, to lead the 7th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. State law allows a chief judge to name an interim district attorney when an “absence” of office occurs, according to Mike Saccone, spokesman for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.

But when Serra announced this week he would resign his post effective Tuesday, the day of Hickenlooper’s inauguration, the vacancy created in the office opened the door for Hickenlooper to appoint a replacement, Saccone said.

Evan Dreyer, spokesman for outgoing Gov. Bill Ritter, said Friday he’ll issue a news release today asking anyone who is interested in being appointed district attorney to apply for the position.

Patrick is expected to withdraw his order appointing Hotsenpiller, and the Attorney General’s Office will continue to oversee prosecutions in the 7th Judicial District until Hickenlooper names Serra’s replacement.

Serra was arrested in September on suspicion of exposing himself to three women in his office and subjecting some of them to sexual contact in a three-year pattern of misconduct.


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