Flier campaign targets judge

A Grand Junction man who says Mesa County Chief District Court Judge David Bottger maligned him during a custody dispute has taken to the streets with an aggressive flier campaign aimed at unseating the longtime judge at the polls.

Citing his own experiences with Bottger, John A. Moore, a former attorney, has accused the judge of not believing “that fathers play any significant role in raising children.”

Moore said his fliers, which he has passed out at local political party gatherings as well as at a Fruita Area Chamber of Commerce forum, are based on his experiences during his 2006 divorce case.

He said Bottger barred him from having his children over except on select weekends.

“Bottger created a huge mess, not just for my sons, but for me personally,” he said, calling himself a good father maligned by the judge’s “skewed and biased policies.”

Bottger, who has been a Mesa County judge or magistrate since 1983, could not be reached for comment.

However, the Colorado Commissions on Judicial Performance’s review of Bottger, published earlier this fall, shows the longtime judge is recommended for retention.

According to the report: “In all areas Judge Bottger was found to be exemplary. In particular, the commission found him to be hard-working, know-ledgeable about the law and fair-minded.”

Lawyers and non-lawyers alike recommended Bottger’s retention at rates higher than his statewide peers, the report said.

Also clouding Moore’s assertions of being a father maligned are court records, which show he failed to pay more than $5,100 in child support last year.

Mesa County District Court Judge Thomas Deister ordered Moore in October 2007 to pay his ex-wife the child support.

Moore, however, said a father’s ability to pay child support is not related to his right to help raise his children.

Bottger is one of five local judges up for retention this fall.


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