Roesink recall petition fails |

Roesink recall petition fails

— A petition seeking to oust 14th Judicial District Attorney Bonnie Roesink from office failed, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office announced Monday afternoon.

“In a nutshell, there is an insufficient number of signatures,” Secretary’s Office spokesman Jonathan Tee said.

The recall committee was required to submit 3,802 signatures from registered voters in Moffat, Routt and Grand counties. Sixty-nine petitions were submitted by the Monday deadline, containing 2,945 signatures, or 857 short of the required number.

The shortfall in signatures ends the recall effort, which began in February.

Roesink, who has denied all allegations contained in the recall petition, said Monday afternoon she was relieved to hear the petition failed and is “glad I can get back to my job of helping people in this district.”

She said she was prepared to resign had the recall committee gotten the required number of signatures and the petition was validated by the Secretary’s Office.

“I was not going to put the district through a recall,” Roesink said. She added, “I just didn’t want to cost the taxpayers the money or the hard feelings that would occur (with a recall).”

Roesink, who’s term expires in January 2009, said she will not run for re-election.

“I don’t plan on it,” she said. “I don’t know why people would want to be an elected official anymore.”

Nonetheless, Roesink said she isn’t giving up on her current term and will continue to serve as district attorney with “as much vigor as possible.”

Kathy Oberwitte began the recall petition after a disagreement arose with Roesink regarding the prosecution of Dustin Lund, a Morrison man who was allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine when his vehicle collided with Oberwitte’s brother, Michael Bailey, of Craig.

Bailey died from injuries sustained in the accident.

Lund has pleaded guilty to careless driving resulting in death, a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of a year in county jail and a $1,000 fine.

He will be sentenced April 30 in Routt County Court.

Oberwitte has said the recall petition was a way to respond to systematic errors, bad judgment, poor management and inconsistent prosecution by the district attorney. She said she responded to people asking her to move forward with a recall.

“They asked me to step into the batter’s box, and I did and I gave 110 percent,” Oberwitte said.

She disagreed with any notion the recall petition stemmed solely from her dispute with Roesink regarding the Lund prosecution.

“I’m really getting tired of hearing that,” she said.

Oberwitte said she doesn’t view the recall effort as a failure.

“It’s not the win, it’s not the loss,” she said. “The point has been proven and enough people have spoken.

“From here on out, she’s going to be under a magnifying glass, and she should be.”

As early as Monday afternoon, shortly after she received word of the petition’s failure from the Secretary’s Office, Oberwitte said she considered beginning another recall effort.

However, a lot of time and work went into the recent recall and it’s unlikely Oberwitte will initiate another petition, she said.

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