A new era for the tri-county 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office was ushered in Wednesday when Elizabeth Oldham was sworn into office during a ceremony in Grand County.
Oldham, winner of the November general election and before Wednesday, the assistant district attorney, inherits the office from long-time DA and 14th prosecutor, Bonnie Roesink.
She began her four-year term Wednesday by being sworn into office by Michael O'Hara, chief judge of the 14th Judicial District.
She said she felt two emotions after she officially became District Attorney - excitement and thankfulness for the opportunity.
"In several ways, I feel very lucky," Oldham said.
Another positive notion for the outset of her first term is beginning with a full complement of staff, she said.
"I have the opportunity to start with all of our positions filled," Oldham said.
The last new hire is a deputy district attorney position for the Moffat County office, the same position once held by prosecutor Matthew Barrett, who left at the end of 2008 for the Ninth Judicial District Attorney's Office in Glenwood Springs.
Patrick Welch begins work Tuesday as a deputy district attorney in Moffat County.
He and Jon Pfeifer will split the handling of the office's lower levels felonies and Moffat County Court cases. Prosecutor Jeremy Snow will remain handling the more serious felonies and juvenile cases.
Welch's experience includes two internships at district attorney's offices, including one in Denver and the other at an office in the Midwest.
"It's always a challenge to find good people," Oldham said. "But, the people that we talked to were really impressed with him."
He, like other prosecutors Oldham has hired recently to fill vacancies, shares a common trait, she said.
"The people we've hired," Oldham said, "are all excited to live in the communities they're working in."