Governor confirms new Routt County District Attorney

Brett Barkey, left, announced his resignation as District Attorney of the 14th Judicial District, recommending Assistant District Attorney Matt Karzen, right, as his replacement. Gov. Jared Polis confirmed Karzen’s appointment on Wednesday.
Courtesy photos

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County will soon have a new district attorney.

Gov. Jared Polis confirmed the appointment of Matt Karzen as the district attorney for the 14th Judicial District on Wednesday, which encompasses Routt, Moffat and Grand counties.

He will officially take over July 1 and serve the remainder of Brett Barkey’s term through 2020.

Karzen’s appointment comes after the current DA, Barkey, announced his resignation in May to dedicate more time to volunteer opportunities and to pursue a graduate degree for economics at the University of Denver. 

Barkey recommended Karzen as his replacement in his resignation letter to Polis, pointing to Karzen’s 25 years of prosecution experience, including the last four years he has worked as the assistant district attorney. 

In a statement released by the District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday, Karzen said he is both humbled and honored to serve in the new position. 

As DA, he wants to strike a balance between what he called public safety and human decency, trying to provide more treatment options for certain incarcerated individuals rather than pursuing long prison sentences. 

“It is important to me as the District Attorney, and as a citizen, to contribute to a thoughtful effort to identify effective alternatives to simply incarcerating the mentally ill or addicted,” Karzen said in the statement.

He also expressed interest in running for the district attorney position as an incumbent in the 2020 election. 

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