Jon Pfeifer, deputy district attorney with the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office, sits in his new office at the Moffat County Courthouse. Pfeifer, who started Sept. 15, said he always wanted a job that serves the public well.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Jon Pfeifer, deputy district attorney with the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office, sits in his new office at the Moffat County Courthouse. Pfeifer, who started Sept. 15, said he always wanted a job that serves the public well.

Prosecutor's job inspired by missionary service


Practicing law is an extension of Jon Pfeifer's stated commitment to public service.

Pfeifer, 30, a new deputy district attorney for the 14th Judicial District's Craig office, hopes to bring his faith in justice to his new position as county court attorney.

It was the 20-something Pfeifer who was first inspired to become more active in the world after a two-year church mission to Bolivia.

He said it's hard to explain exactly what happened to him while serving his mission as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"It changed me in a lot of ways," Pfeifer said. "It made me into a scholar. I had never been a student until after my mission. I was more interested in the world after, and people."

The trip spurned his interest in his undergraduate major of history and international cultural studies. After he earned his degree, Pfeifer decided he wanted an education that was more action-oriented.

"It was kind of a liberal arts background," he said. "I think I wanted to get into a more practical field."

He enrolled in Indiana University School of Law thereafter, although it wasn't long before Pfeifer was again volunteering overseas. After his first year, Pfeifer marrried his wife, Emily, and the two joined the Peace Corps.

They spent the next two years in Panama working mostly in community education and environmental conservation. In the small town of Cuipo, the couple started an adult school program for people to finish high school and helped build a community education center with computers and library books.

"We wanted to start a family," Pfeifer said of him and his wife, "and we knew that if we were going to do something like this, it would have to be before we had kids."

After returning to the U.S., Pfeifer said he never really considered becoming a defense attorney.

"I was interested in justice," he said. "I'm excited to work in a prosecutor's office. Our client is the state, and unlike a defender, who has one client, our client is justice."

Pfeifer now awaits Oct. 10, when he will learn whether he passed the Colorado bar exam. Under the Colorado Student Practice Act, law students and recent graduates are allowed to practice, but they may not represent the state in felony cases or in District Court.

A student practice certification remains in effect until the announcement of a law student's first bar exam results after graduation.

Until then, Pfeifer said he is eager to learn as much as he can and become a part of the community he hopes to serve.

"I hope to learn to represent my client: the state and the people of Colorado," he said.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or


JDR4 8 years, 7 months ago

Good luck on the Results. Its nice to know the DA's office actually hired someone with Certification, oh wait....... he MIGHT get certified.

But really, this Prosecutors office has a hard enough time clearing all the facts, and understanding what to do with those facts when spread out in front of them. At least they are following their own lead with the learning pattern. Makes sense to me.

But on a serious note. Id be slightly concerned with the "learning" curve inside the DA's office. Watch the pot bust that happened last week, and its outcome. They charged the guy with a weapons enhancer, and hopefully (im kidding) the office can prosecute the pot guy like a murderer, and get a simple possession conviction out of it. Seriously, they throw the book and as heavy charges as they can find at someone, then that person has a good enough defense to beat the more serious charge, thus getting off pretty much scott free, when a lesser, more relevant charge would probably work out for both sides alot better in the end. Either that, or its plea'd (sic?) down, alot. I just used the pot one as an example but its across the board. Like the Bailey/Meth crash death where the trucker killed that poor guy. We all wanted more serious charges which were appropriate, and they went with the lesser. Following the peoples will is a strong point of this DA's office. Its a long hard thing to explain, but if you know the history of this DA office, then i guess you understand what im trying to say.

Now they go with an unproven, shiny new "Go Getter". If im an embattled DA, who needs the support of the people they are working for, id personally have gone with someone who is a little more proven. But maybe those people just dont wanna come to this area? I wonder why.


oldsage 8 years, 7 months ago

Corruption in that Office! Embedded corruption at the highest levels of Law Enforcement has a price and not being able to hire or retain qualified, experienced, and honest people in those positions is one of them.

Having lots of people talking about it and not buying insurance from you husband is another!

But best of all is that the refusal to uphold an oath of office also has consequences too. And having hell to look forward for that is the ultimate price!

Just the facts man. Just the facts!

I might also add that refusing to report and/or covering up public corruption by members of the news media as the fourth estate is also one of those things that invokes the ultimate price. ( That is why the freedom of the press is in the first ammendment of the bill of rights.)


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