Gov. John Hickenlooper has appointed Durango resident Suzanne Carlson to serve as a district court judge in the 6th Judicial District. The district includes La Plata, Archuleta and San Juan counties.
The governors decision was posted Friday in a release on his website.
Carlson, 44, has worked as a part-time associate judge for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. She also practices family law with Lisa Ward.
Before becoming a judge, she worked for about 10 years as a Colorado public defender.
She has lived in Durango since 1998, is married to Todd Carlson and has three children, a 7-year-old and two 10-year-olds.
Carlson was one of three finalists recommended to Hickenlooper by the 6th Judicial District Nominating Commission last month out of an initial pool of 11 candidates.
I always want to make sure everyone is heard and feels that justice is done, Carlson said after becoming a finalist for the position. You cant always win, but everyone needs to feel like the judge is listening to them.
Funding for the new position is available because of a previous years bill that added judges in Jefferson County. The county west of Denver never used its full allocation of judges, so Rep. J. Paul Brown, R-Ignacio, and Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, sponsored a bill to create a position in the 6th Judicial District. It had the backing of Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender.