“For me, it was a great opportunity to renew the relationships that I’d built when I was here in 2007 and 2008.”
— Brett Barkey, assistant district attorney for the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, on his return to Northwest Colorado
At a glance …
• Brett Barkey now serving his second stint with the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
• Barkey’s first day as assistant district attorney was Aug. 22.
• Barkey, the former Moffat County chief deputy district attorney, left the region in 2008 to serve as Marine Corps prosecutor in New Orleans.
• DA: Barkey brings a variety of legal experiences to the 14th.
There’s one thing Brett Barkey knows well, and there’s another deep in his blood.
The first is the legal system.
Barkey has more than 20 years in the legal field, following his graduation from Georgetown University Law Center and his subsequent admittance to the bar in 1986.
The second is his connection to Colorado.
“I’m a fourth-generation Coloradan,” he said. “My ancestors came out here from Iowa on a covered wagon in the 1860s and settled in the South Park area.
“One of their homestead cabins is still standing.”
Barkey, 50, has returned to the state where his family made their home.
More specifically, he’s been welcomed back to the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, where he’s worked as assistant district attorney since Aug. 22.
Barkey is familiar with the 14th, having served as Moffat County chief deputy district attorney before resigning in March 2008.
Barkey’s familiarity with the area, coupled with his legal experience, made him a choice pick for the second-highest seat with the DA’s office, district attorney Elizabeth Oldham said.
“That was a benefit to me, that I knew that he already worked in the office,” she said. “I think his diversity is helpful (in) that he has been within a DA’s office but also that he was in the military, and that broadened his experience.
“I just think his diverse legal background is helpful.”
The path that brought Barkey back to the region was a roundabout one that took him halfway across the world.
Barkey served in Moffat County for about 10 months before resigning in March 2008 to serve as a Marine Corps prosecutor in New Orleans.
The move put him closer to his two sons, Devin, now 14, and Christopher, now 11.
In January 2009, Barkey was deployed for his third tour in Iraq, where he oversaw the completion of a $21 million judicial complex in Ramadi, located in Iraq’s Anbar province, he said.
Upon his arrival stateside, he served as acting staff judge advocate for the Second Marine Division, and later as the inspector general for I Marine Expeditionary Force in California.
A desire to return to civilian life brought Barkey back to Northwest Colorado.
“I’ve just come to a point in my time that with having done three tours in Iraq, it was time for me to return to the civilian life,” he said.
Returning to the tri-county 14th — which encompasses Moffat, Routt and Grand counties — had particular appeal.
“For me, it was a great opportunity to renew the relationships that I’d built when I was here in 2007 and 2008,” he said.
The position also fit him in other ways. He has long been involved in leadership positions, he said, formally and informally.
“I was looking for a position that offered the opportunity to do that again,” he said.
Barkey, now a colonel in the Marine Corps reserves, knows what he wants to accomplish during his second stint with the 14th.
“I hope to help us build and maintain a strong partnership with the law enforcement community,” he said.
He also intends to take what he’s learned in his career — both in the U.S. and across the world — and pass it on to other attorneys, he said.
He hopes “that can be of some benefit to my colleagues,” he said.