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Stan Garnett stepping down as Boulder district attorney to take job at his old firm

Author: Ernest Luning - January 11, 2018 - Updated: January 12, 2018

Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett talks with a Colorado Politics reporter at a coffee shop near the Colorado Capitol on March 27, 2017, in Denver. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett talks with a Colorado Politics reporter at a coffee shop near the Colorado Capitol on March 27, 2017, in Denver. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett is resigning after 10 years in office to take a position as senior partner at the powerful Denver law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, where he worked before winning election in 2008, he announced Thursday.

Garnett, 61, was the second-longest serving district attorney in Boulder County, the state’s 20th Judicial District, since statehood, he said in a letter notifying Gov. John Hickenlooper of his resignation, which will take effect March 1.

The governor will appoint a replacement, a task Garnett said he hoped to help with over the next several weeks.

Garnett told The Boulder Daily Camera’s Mitchell Byars that he’s been fielding offers from law firms since the 2016 election, when he won his third and final term.

“After talking about what they had in mind I decided it was an opportunity I would be crazy to pass up,” Garnett told the Camera. He said he felt like he’s “given a lot to the community in public service” in more than a decade in office.

“We are delighted to welcome Stan back to the firm,” said Adam Agron, Brownstein’s managing partner, in a statement. “Our firm was built on a commitment to public service and we have no doubt that our clients and colleagues will benefit from Stan’s experience and exceptional record leading Boulder’s district attorney’s office.”

Garnett spent 22 years as a trial lawyer in Brownstein’s litigation department prior to his election.

A year ago, Garnett, a Democrat, briefly considered running for attorney general. His son Alec, a Denver Democrat, is serving his second term in the Colorado House of Representatives, where he is the assistant majority leader.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle praised Garnett’s tenure as the county’s top prosecutor.

“Stan Garnett has raised the bar in Boulder County when it comes to the quality of prosecutions, hiring and promoting great staff, public transparency and the relationship the district attorney’s office has with law enforcement,” Pelle said in a statement. “He will truly be missed; however, this sounds like a wonderful opportunity.”

Boulder voters in November 2009 narrowly extended term limits for the district attorney to three consecutive four-year terms — by what turned out, after a recount, to be a margin of two votes. Two years ago, they rejected a proposal to increase the number of terms to four.

Garnett is a member of the board of directors of the National District Attorneys Association and was elected last year to serve as president of the Colorado District Attorneys Council.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.