ALAMOSA — Alamosa recognized long-time City Prosecutor Eugene “Gene” Farish on Wednesday at city hall.
Farish is not retiring but will no longer be serving as Alamosa’s prosecutor, as the City of Alamosa decided to combine prosecutorial duties and the city attorney position with City Attorney Erich Schwiesow. Farish will continue serving other municipalities around the San Luis Valley.
Farish served as Alamosa’s city prosecutor for about 30 years, taking the position following tenure as district attorney for the 12th Judicial District.
“City council as well as city staff greatly appreciate your over 30 years of service,” Alamosa Mayor Ty Coleman told Farish before presenting a plaque of appreciation to him. “You have been a true champion in our community. You have been making a huge difference with a positive impact.”
Coleman also thanked Farish for being a team player in the past year while the city prepared for the transition in the city attorney/prosecutor position.
Coleman also read a statement from retired Alamosa City Clerk Judy Egbert who said Farish served with professionalism and diligence, “and we are thankful for having the opportunity of having him serve our community.”
Councilman Charles Griego said he has served on city council for 36 years, before Farish began working for the city and through all of his tenure with the city. “It’s been quite an honor to work with you all these years,” Griego said. “What you have done for our community, there’s no words. On behalf of our community I want to thank you for your dedication to our community.”
Councilor Liz Hensley added, “You have done a great job.” She said Farish must have seen many changes in the system during his time as prosecutor including technological changes.
Councilor Kristina Daniel added that during those changes, “you were the glue that held it together.”
Farish said he has served with many city councils and mayors during that time and has appreciated the support of the councils.
“It’s just been a really good experience,” he said.
He also thanked city staff he has worked with and police chiefs and police officers. “I really enjoy working with cops. You’ve got a great police force here.”
He said when he is in municipal court he needs to rely on concise reports, and he could always depend on the police officers here to provide proper reports.
Farish also said he has worked with high quality judges over the years. “They have done a yeoman’s job here for you.”
Farish also thanked his legal assistant who has helped prepare the cases for the transition.
Farish said the duties of city prosecutor have changed over the years, and his work has ranged from prosecuting city offenses to providing legal services during liquor hearings and even personnel hearings.
He has prosecuted some interesting cases such as an obscene gesture case that went to a jury trial (and got a conviction) and the case of a man who was cited for “power washing” his dog at a car wash in cold weather.
Farish said the legal system has changed dramatically as well, with cases on the docket going from 10-15 in a couple of weeks to 120 in a single day. Conviction rates are still good, but the court is now also working with a range of entities to utilize resources to help defendants be compliant.
Farish said the City of Alamosa would always have his respect and love.
“You’ve got a great city.”
Municipal Judge James McDonald said it has been a privilege to serve with Farish. He thanked Farish for his service to this country, to this community and to the Valley. He said Farish is a role model for him and he commended him for his patriotism and service. He also thanked Farish’s wife Evelyn “for all you do for Gene. It is imperative he has you. Without you he would not be able to do what he does.”