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Colorado Judicial Department announces 2017 Judicial Excellence Awards

Friday, May 25, 2018

DENVER – The Colorado Judicial Department celebrated the accomplishments of seven employees and one team at a recent Judicial Excellence Awards ceremony, honoring their contributions to the high quality of service the agency provided throughout the state during 2017.

Receiving special recognition was Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice, who will retire at the end of June after 31 years as a judge, including nearly 20 years as a member of the Supreme Court.

“It has been a privilege to share my time at the Judicial Department with these and thousands of other people dedicated to the efficient and effective administration of justice in our state,” Chief Justice Rice said. “The Judicial Excellence Awards provide a great avenue to honor exemplary work in serving the public.”

Second Judicial District (Denver County) Jury Commissioner Genevieve Rotella was named Court Employee of the Year in part for helping stage a temporary security station when glass panels fell from fifth-floor railings in her courthouse, for helping develop an employee shadowing and mentorship program and for working with the Denver County Court in restructuring its jury call days.

Two people shared the 2017 Probation Employee of the Year award: Chris Jensen of Denver Juvenile Probation and Robert Murphy of the 18th Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties) probation office. Jensen’s efforts to maintain a rapport with clients played a central role in increasing the success rates of his unit’s probationers. He also worked as a coordinator for the Gang Reduction Initiative in his district. Murphy’s work supporting restitution collection led to more than $3 million being collected for economic crime victims, and he helped restructure training programs to improve safety for probation officers.

Winning the State Court Administrator’s Office Employee of the Year honors was Angelia Meaux, who among her many responsibilities helps plan conferences using collaborative management techniques. She was recognized for her solid teamwork, attention to detail and problem-solving capabilities.

The Wellness Court Team in the Eighth Judicial District (Jackson and Larimer counties) was named Outstanding Team of the Year. During 2017, the team served 77 clients, significantly reducing the load on jails in the jurisdiction. The team accomplished this while its size was temporarily reduced.

Kenneth “Grant” Thomas, a supervisor in the 14th Judicial District (Grand, Moffat and Routt counties), was posthumously named Supervisor of the Year. He has been described as a passionate supporter of probation services, a role model and a teacher whose leadership was vital to helping the probation department weather difficult changes in 2017.

Honored as the Manager of the Year was Third Judicial District (Huerfano and Las Animas counties) District Administrator Bob Kreiman, who has led efforts including restoration of a historic judicial building in Walsenburg and creation of a commission to address underfunded judicial facilities. Employees in several judicial districts have described him as a valued mentor.

The Hon. Paul A. King of the 18th Judicial District Court was named Judicial Officer of the Year, in part for exemplary docket management, courtroom demeanor and community involvement. In his last judicial performance evaluation, no attorney surveyed recommended against retaining Judge King, a rare occurrence.

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