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Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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District Attorney and Staff Want to Keep You Safe
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At any given time, the 21 district attorneys at the 10th Judicial District in Pueblo will be carrying in the neighborhood of 150 cases. If you further extrapolate the numbers, you will find that in the course of a year each of those attorneys handle between 500-600 of the 10,000-12,000 cases that come into the office.

For their efforts they are paid $54K to start. Pueblo Public Defenders are paid $5K-$8K more annually, try less cases and only about 60% of their cases are criminal in nature. The District Attorney's office handles only criminal cases. Add to that the fact that the Public Defenders have 28 attorneys with twelve investigators. District Attorneys handle their case load sharing six investigators between the 21 attorneys.

How does Jeff Chostner, in the middle of his second term as District Attorney, keep his team stable and focused?

“We try to keep a good positive work environment,” shared the Pueblo native. “Every year since I’ve been DA at least one of my people have been acknowledged with a state-wide award. We make sure everyone knows about it.”

The award winner last year was one of Chostner’s two daughters, Michelle, who was named “Outstanding Prosecutor in Colorado”, for her outstanding work. This year Ms. Chostner, mother of three, has been assigned, as one of her 150 cases, the nationally spotlighted Kelsie Schelling case.

Would you like to read the rest of this story? You can subscribe to the Greenhorn Valley View anywhere in Pueblo County for only $35/yr. Call (719) 676-3401 to subscribe.

Chostner also feels that leadership is critical in keeping people and maintaining morale.

“A leader needs to be positive,” he said. “I like people and enjoy talking to them. I want to know what is going on in their lives.”

Despite his position, Chostner tries to answer every phone call, e-mail and text. His home phone is listed in the Pueblo phone book and gets answered when you dial the number.

“I owe the public an answer,” summarized Chostner. “I don’t owe them the answer they want but they deserve a response.”

Chostner is also a leader in work ethic. He considers his work week to be seven days long. In addition to duties as District Attorney, in any given week he has three to four public events. He views his nights at the symphony or a veteran’s event as his way to stay in touch with his constituents.

Crime, in the last three years, is down between 9-17%. Chostner doesn’t look at his job as putting people in jail. “We choose to focus on defending victims and making a safer community”, he shared. “Every person in our office wants to make Pueblo County safer for you.”

Chostner’s energy level is motivated by several things. To begin with, he likes what he does. Secondly, Chostner comes from a family that has been in Pueblo since the 1870’s. “I want to make a difference.” He says. “I have deep roots here, and it is a joy to serve. Pueblo voters have asked me to represent them. That is an honor; an honor by which I am humbled.”

Chostner is in daily contact with Pueblo Police Chief, Troy Davenport and Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor. When seeking additional reources Chostner works with the Pueblo County Commissioners, and describes newest Commissioner Garrison Ortiz as “tremendous”.

Would you like to read the rest of this story? You can subscribe to the Greenhorn Valley View anywhere in Pueblo County for only $35/yr. Call (719) 676-3401 to subscribe.

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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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