District Attorney Brett Barkey resigns, recommends assistant DA as replacement
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — District Attorney Brett Barkey announced his resignation, effective July 1, late Friday afternoon.
Barkey explained he is leaving to pursue volunteer and educational opportunities after serving as DA of the 14th Judicial District since 2012.
Barkey has become increasingly involved with a volunteer organization, Team Rubicon, which responds to disasters and humanitarian crises across the U.S. He plans to increase his involvement and is leaving for Hinsdale County this weekend to help mitigate flooding risks caused by avalanche debris from this winter.
A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Barkey has also been accepted into the University of Denver’s graduate program for economics on a GI Bill. That program starts in September, exactly 40 years after he walked through the same university’s doors as a freshman.
“I’m a believer in lifelong learning,” Barkey said.
He hopes to use that education to help rural communities in Colorado facing economic challenges.
In his letter of resignation sent to Gov. Jared Polis, Barkey recommended Assistant District Attorney Matt Karzen as his replacement. The governor has to confirm Karzen’s appointment before it is official.
A graduate of the Lowell Whiteman School in Steamboat Springs, Karzen has 25 years of prosecution experience, including four years as assistant DA.
“The office could be in no better hands,” Barkey said of Karzen in the news release.
Karzen said he has dreamed of this opportunity since his first year of law school in 1992.
“It’s humbling — that’s the only word I can really think of,” he said of Barkey’s recommendation. “I am quite excited about the opportunity if the governor selects me.”
If chosen, Karzen would finish out Barkey’s term, which ends in 2020.
Area fire personnel spent much of Friday battling a wildfire west of Meeker, according to a Friday evening news release from Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office.