Fresh prosecutor

Former mentors steered Veronda toward Moffat County

Ed Veronda's resume is decorated with big-city stints in Denver, but when the young attorney, a 2006 graduate of Colorado University law school, went looking for jobs he followed the advice of former mentors.

Earn your stripes in a small town, they said.

And, with the neighborly atmosphere in Craig, plenty of cases to prosecute and a shortage of attorneys, the 14th Judicial District met all the right criteria.

"I wanted to come to a small town," said Veronda, 25, a new deputy district attorney in the Craig office. "(Greg Long) had a big influence on me coming out here as did Rebecca Love Kourlis."

Veronda worked with Long -- former Republican District Attorney for the 14th Judicial District -- while interning with the Denver District Attorney.

In May 2004, he was a summer clerk for Kourlis, a Colorado Supreme Court justice.

Veronda replaces Erik Olson, who resigned in early October, as the Moffat County Court prosecutor.

He began work Oct. 30 and has found the promise of good experience handling a variety of cases fulfilled thus far.

"It's been fabulous," he added, citing that he's already handled a motions hearing and has two trials coming up. "I've really enjoyed that."

Bonnie Roesink, district attorney of the 14th Judicial District, cited Veronda's work with Kourlis, and his finishing in the top 10 of his class at CU as reasons behind her hiring him for the Moffat County office.

"He's been amazing," Roesink said Thursday from the Grand Junction office.

Veronda joins Russell Wasley, a felony prosecutor with the 14th Judicial District, as the prosecutors in the Craig office.

Wasley replaced former deputy district attorney Mike Stern, who resigned in September.

Roesink said she has to go back to "square one" to fill a third position, which was temporarily held by attorney Jack Hatfield.

Hatfield accepted the job earlier this month, but resigned after a few days.

Roesink said a family emergency called Hatfield to Arizona and from continuing to prosecute cases for the 14th Judicial District.

"I've got two of the three," she said. "I'm still looking for the third one."

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