Court hearings for a former lawman were stayed on Wednesday after a Montezuma County judge and a La Plata County public defender both withdrew from pending criminal matters.
Montezuma County Judge JenniLynn Lawrence announced Tuesday she would recuse herself from presiding over criminal charges filed against former Mancos Marshal John Cox. Cox was scheduled to appear before Lawrence on Wednesday.
“Judge Lawrence served on several boards with Mr. Cox,” a court official said in explaining the recusal.
Facing six misdemeanor charges in Montezuma County from separate incidents that occurred in August and September, Cox’s case was reset for Thursday in front of Chief District Court Judge Doug Walker.
According to a Colorado Bureau of Investigation probe, the charges stem from an alleged investigation that Cox conducted on a romantic rival and a fabricated speeding ticket that he issued.
Cox also faces criminal charges in La Plata County in connection to a DUI arrest in November. The Colorado State Patrol ticketed Cox for DUI after he reportedly crashed into a guardrail on U.S. Highway 160.
At an initial appearance on the misdemeanor traffic offense before a La Plata County judge on Wednesday, the case was continued until February after a public defender withdrew from the case. It was unclear why the defense counsel opted not to represent Cox.
On Nov. 4, Mancos officials placed Cox on paid administrative leave. He resigned as marshal Nov. 16.
An Internet search revealed that Cox received a 2009 DUI conviction while a police officer in Indiana, but Mancos officials have confirmed that he was never fully vetted when hired as a deputy marshal in 2012. He was promoted to marshal the following year.
With a Jan. 22 employment application deadline approaching, Mancos officials have vowed its next town marshal would be subjected to a thorough background check. Mancos officials hope to name the next marshal in March.
The annual salary is listed between $58,000 and $64,000.