State board rules District Attorney’s Office non-compliant under Crime Victim Rights Act

Case referred to the governor’s office

ALAMOSA– Recently, the Colorado Crime Victim Advisory Board met regarding eight complaints that have been filed against the 12th Judicial District District Attorney's Office related to lack of compliance required by the Crime Victim Rights Act (VRA).  

The board reviewed four complaints against the District Attorney’s office, including cases involving vehicular homicide, domestic violence and elder abuse.

Upon completing their review, the state board voted that the District Attorney's Office was non-compliant under the VRA and referred the matter to the governor's office.

This is the first time in 30 years that a referral to the governor's office has been made in such a matter.

The four additional complaints that have been filed related to cases involving vehicular homicide, assault on a peace officer, domestic violence and sexual assault of a child. Review of those cases will be conducted at a later date to be determined.

Officials with the City of Alamosa listened in on the meeting, which included relevant details in each of the complaints filed. City Manager Heather Brooks, one of those who listened it, described victims’ accounts as “heartbreaking and embarrassing but not surprising, given the concerns the city has with the office.”

Brooks plus Alamosa’s city attorney and police chief later met to discuss how to communicate the city's concerns related to the District Attorney's office. Items discussed included raising public awareness, drafting a letter to the Attorney General's office and researching the current recall effort.

When asked for a statement, District Attorney Alonzo Payne said, “We have made staffing changes in our office and are working in coordination with the Colorado District Attorney's Council to address all issues of noncompliance and prevent any issues in the future.”

When asked for confirmation of what staff changes Payne was referencing, there was no response.

The Crime Victim Services Advisory Board is a 28-member board appointed by the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety. The board acts in an advisory capacity to the Division of Criminal Justice. 

A version of this story originally appeared on the City of Alamosa Facebook page.

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