June 15, 2007

Stephen Groome, attorney for Park County, gets district court judgeship
Governor announces appointment in Eleventh Judicial District

Tom Locke
Flume Editor

Stephen Groome, the attorney for Park County, has been chosen to fill a new district court judgeship position for the Eleventh Judicial District, Gov. Bill Ritter's office announced Friday.

Brenda Lynn Jackson of Canon City, the county attorney for Fremont County, and Ernest Frank Marquez of Salida, a criminal defense attorney, were the other two finalists for the job.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I really believe this is a position of trust," Groome said in a voice mail message. ""I will take it very seriously, work very hard and do my very best to make sure that anyone in my courtroom receives a fair hearing."

"I pledge I will be very diligent and look forward to serving the citizens of the Eleventh Judicial District," he added.

The county's three commissioners could not be reached immediately for comment.

According to a press release from the governor's office, the district covers Chaffee, Custer, Fremont and Park counties.

Groome has served as the county attorney in Park County since 2002. And from 1976 to 2002, he worked as a sole practitioner in private practice, as a staff attorney with the California Association of Realtors, and as in-house corporate counsel for a real estate investment and mortgage brokerage company in Newport Beach, Calif., said the press release.

He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina in 1973 and his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law in 1976.

The judgeship would be based mostly in Fairplay, with the judge spending four days each week at the Park County Combined Court in Fairplay and one day a week in Canon City, Groome told The Flume about two weeks ago.

"It's something I've wanted to do since eighth grade," Groome said at the time.

The judgeship starts July 1.

Commissioner Leni Walker told The Flume a couple of weeks ago that if Groome was selected, she anticipated filling his county attorney position on an interim basis while the commissioners searched for a long-term replacement. She said Groome made $101,000-plus per year as county attorney.

The appointment was one of several by the governor that filled judicial positions created by House Bill 07-1054. The initial term of office is a provisional term of approximately two years, and if retained by the voters, a term of six years.

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