Former DA Don Quick named top judge in north Aurora jurisdiction

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AURORA | Former 17th Judicial District Attorney Don Quick has been named chief judge in the 17th Judicial District, marking the latest change among the state court ranks in Adams and Broomfield Counties.

The outgoing chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court named Quick, who served as district attorney of the north Aurora judicial district from 2005 to 2013, to his new role on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Colorado Judicial Department.

Quick will replace outgoing Chief Judge Emily Anderson, who recently announced her plans to retire from the bench next month. Anderson had served as the presiding judge in the 17th since spring 2019.

The appointment elevates Quick, who is currently a district court judge in the 17th, to the  administrative leader of the jurisdiction that tries the most serious state crimes in the northern rim of the metro area. The decisions of chief judges across the state have been cast more regularly into the public realm this year through frequent orders related to court closures and protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anderson’s upcoming departure from the 17th remains one of two vacancies on the local bench. Voters last month opted not to retain Judge Tomee Crespin, the only district court judge in the state to earn a vote of no-confidence from an evaluation commission heading into the November Election. Crespin told the Denver Post in October that she was the victim of inter-office squabbles that resulted in poor marks on her regular judicial evaluation.

A local commission made up of seven members is scheduled to meet on Dec. 28 to consider a slate of potential judges to fill the two empty seats on the local bench. Gov. Jared Polis will eventually select a pair of nominees.

The new judges will inherit annual salaries just north of $173,000.

The judicial shakeups come on the heels of the election of the newest 17th Judicial District Attorney, Democrat Brian Mason, in November. Mason easily bested his Republican challenger to replace his current boss, Democrat Dave Young.

Young has been in the national spotlight for months defending his decision not to pursue criminal charges against the Aurora first responders who interacted with 23-year-old Elijah McClain last August.

Young appeared on the national newscast 60 Minutes on Sunday and again explained that he did not believe he could have successfully convinced a jury to convict any local police officers or paramedics at trial.