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Angel: I’ll be a DA who prioritizes respect, competence, and equity

Braden Angel
Special to the Daily
Braden Angel is a former deputy district attorney running against Heidi McCollum for district attorney in Colorado's 5fth Judicial District.
Special to the Daily

My name is Braden Angel and I live in EaglVail with my wife, two children, and two dogs. I have over 13 years of prosecution experience; 12 of which are within our jurisdiction.

I have successfully tried dozens of jury trials in every county across the 5th Judicial District. I have extensive expertise in victim’s rights and all aspects of the criminal justice system. I have been unanimously voted president of the Continental Divide Bar Association since 2018 and serve as the municipal prosecutor for the Town of Blue River. When elected, my office will not only effectively prosecute crime. We will create a culturally responsive, victim-centered, and trauma- informed environment that prioritizes respect, competence, and equity.

I began with the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s office as an intern while attending law school at the University of Denver. I was promoted to deputy DA before receiving my bar results and remained with the office for nearly six years.

During my tenure, I focused heavily on the development of expertise in complex criminal cases including domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. I have presented as an expert at statewide conferences on the prosecution of domestic violence and sexual assault cases. Additionally, during my time with the 5th, I drafted operating policies for Eagle County’s Sexual Offense Resource Team, which was considered a gold standard for collaborative sexual offense teams.

I have personally and successfully tried dozens of cases throughout every county of our district. This is one of many important achievements that distinguishes me from my opponent. In addition to substantial litigation experience, I have extensive experience in the development of district-wide policies on victim response, successful submission of complex grant applications and reports, management of budgetary decisions, coordination of community outreach, and development of innovative restorative justice programs.

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Since leaving the DA’s office, I have specialized in victim-centered, trauma-informed representation. As legal programs coordinator for advocates in Summit County, I developed a program that provides no-cost, trauma-informed legal services to victims of crime. My extensive experience with victims provides a unique understanding of violent crime and victim dynamics.

My opponent has indicated that she will designate one attorney in her office to prosecute sexual assault cases, citing her office’s lack of resources to train multiple attorneys. This is a reckless approach. Assigning one sexual assault-specific prosecutor is problematic for several reasons. Turnover or staff illness, among other things, could have a devastating impact on the case and therefore, the victims. I have expertise in successfully prosecuting sexual offenses and domestic violence cases.

I have trained hundreds of advocates and attorneys on this complex subject. I can successfully secure the resources necessary to train attorneys with little or no cost to the office. It is crucial that our community elect an attorney who they themselves has the experience needed to prosecute complex cases of violence. An office that does not make this a priority puts the community (including our youth) at great risk.

Further, I will enhance staff/team member retention, as the turnover rate in the current administration has been exorbitant and persistent throughout their tenure. Turnover is dangerous to victims and our community. Turnover can be minimized with the right leadership. I will create a work culture that is supportive, collaborative, and educational. I will actively take cases to trial and assist attorneys to feel confident and supported in challenging cases.

Additionally, my office will prioritize cultural and language equity by recruiting dedicated Spanish-speaking attorneys from our Latinx communities. This has been a cornerstone of my campaign and I will continue to work collaboratively and inclusively with our Latinx community through outreach and community engagement. We will partner with local organizations, such as MIRA in Eagle County or FIRC in Summit County, to identify effective ways to engage and enhance trust across our community. My office will not only prosecute crime, we will be an active community partner dedicated to keeping our entire community safe.

Finally, I will enhance our restorative justice programs, including working with our judges to establish a behavioral health court. I was involved in the creation of our district’s first DUI and drug courts. I will work to create long-term sustainable change in our community. This begins with prioritizing treatment over incarceration.

Braden Angel is a local attorney and the president of the Continental Divide Bar Association who is running for district attorney for Colorado’s 5th Judicial District, which encompasses Eagle, Lake, Summit and Clear Creek counties. For more information, visit Facebook at Braden Angel for District Attorney or angelfordistrictattorney.com.


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