Three finalists have been named to fill an open slot for an El Paso County judgeship.
The Colorado Judicial Department announced Monday that County Deputy Public Defender Sheilagh McAteer, County Magistrate Michael Feeney and Douglas County Magistrate Laura Findorff were selected by the Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission as possible successors to Judge Marla Prudek.
Prudek was appointed to the District Court bench, and began serving on November 9.
McAteer has been a public defender since 1988, and has worked in the El Paso County Public Defender’s Office since 1993. She currently covers Drug Court and Veterans Trauma Court, and handles felony cases.
“I’d be an awesome county court judge,” McAteer said. She pointed to her extensive experience with veterans cases, many of which are drug or assault cases that stem from ailments such as post traumatic stress disorder.
Feeney has been an El Paso County magistrate for 14 years, and specializes in domestic cases such as marriage dissolutions, separations and restraining orders.
“I’m looking for my next challenge,” Feeney said. He’s an avid mountain climber, and he said that demonstrates his persistence and determination.
“I like to hike 14ers, and this is my next professional 14er. It’s the next mountain I want to climb.”
Findorff, a magistrate in the 18th Judicial District in Douglas County, deals with domestic and mental health cases. She has worked as a magistrate for nearly four years, and began her career as an attorney in 1988.
“I really, really enjoy what I’m doing, but I want something more challenging,” Findorff said. “If I left public service and went back into private practice, I could probably make $80,000 more per year, but I don’t want to do that. I like what I’m doing now.”
The three names have been sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has until December 18 to name a judge. Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown said the governor received the names on Monday, and his legal team is scheduling meetings with the finalists.
Anyone who would like to submit comments regarding the judgeship and the finalists can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the subject line “County Court in the Fourth Judicial District: Judicial Nominees.”
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