Matt Karzen officially named to replace Brett Barkey as 14th Judicial District Attorney |

Matt Karzen officially named to replace Brett Barkey as 14th Judicial District Attorney

Brett Barkey, left, announced his resignation as district attorney of the 14th Judicial District on Friday afternoon and recommended Assistant District Attorney Matt Karzen, right, as his replacement.
Courtesy Photos

On Wednesday, Gov. Jared Polis announced his appointment of Assistant District Attorney Matt Karzen to take over as the 14th Judicial District Attorney, effective July 1. The appointment arose from District Attorney Brett Barkey’s decision to resign prior to the end of his second term to “pursue volunteer and educational opportunities.”

The appointment, announced via news release from the DA’s office, means Karzen will serve out the remainder of the current district attorney term, through 2020, at which time the position will be on the ballot. District Attorney Designee Karzen is considering running in November 2020, as the incumbent, for the 2021-2024 term.

Among Karzen’s recent works was as the prosecutor in the Moffat County School District’s Justin Folley case. Folley was acquitted on a host of charges related to an inappropriate student-teacher relationship which led to the recent passage of Colorado’s sexting bill in Denver.

“I am humbled by the confidence shown by the governor, and I remain committed to this jurisdiction and the delivery of high quality, thoughtful, prosecution services,” Karzen said in the release. “As district attorney, I look forward to earning and maintaining the confidence of the citizens of Grand, Routt and Moffat Counties and all of our law enforcement partners across the district — it is an honor to serve.”

Karzen added that rural Colorado counties are facing challenges in the court system and those suffering from “profound mental illness or addiction.”

“It is important to me as the District Attorney, and as a citizen, to contribute to a thoughtful effort to identify effective alternatives to simply incarcerating the mentally ill or addicted, and to help the modern criminal justice system achieve a proper balance between public safety and human decency,” he said in the release.

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Crime & Courts