Embattled GarCo judge Jovanovich has resigned
A Garfield County associate judge who had been on paid leave since early May and decided in August not to seek voter retention has quit his job.
Jason Jovanovich resigned Oct. 31, said Jon Sarche, a spokesman for the Colorado State Court Administrator’s Office. Jonathan Pototsky has begun serving as Jovanovich’s replacement, although Pototsky was in Denver last week to participate in an orientation program for new judges.
The court administrator’s office has declined to comment on why Jovanovich was placed on leave, but it apparently was related to accusations by court employees that he made inappropriate comments in court and treated them in an intimidating manner.
Although Jovanovich did not seek retention, his term of office had not been due to expire until Jan. 11. In September, Gov. Bill Ritter appointed Pototsky, then a deputy district attorney in the 9th Judicial District, to replace Jovanovich in January.
Jovanovich, who hasn’t publicly commented on his situation, had worked out of Rifle. Until his retirement, he continued to receive a salary amounting to more than $10,000 a month. The state had been paying a similar amount to have retired judges help active 9th Judicial District judges in picking up Jovanovich’s caseload. The state also covered any travel and per-diem claims by the retired judges.
William Campbell, executive director of the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline, said confidentiality rules barred him from commenting on whether Jovanovich was investigated by the commission.
Disciplinary actions taken by the commission also are usually kept private. Disciplinary rules allow for formal proceedings to become public if the commission recommends public censure or removal, but such instances are extremely rare.