Vail Daily letter: Moderation explanation
October 14, 2016
In Friday's Vail Daily, Tim O'Brien, an Eagle resident, penned that he had attended the Continental Divide Bar Association's candidate forum wherein the three candidates for district attorney were invited to debate. I was privileged to moderate that debate. During the course of the open forum, Mr. O'Brien asked a personal question of the incumbent district attorney, Bruce Brown, which I intercepted, advising that the structure of the debate was to discuss policy issues and not to field personal accusations or foster personal attacks. What's more, the paradigm was to afford each of the candidates the opportunity to opine on certain matters pertaining to the office of district attorney and its governance. It would have been unfair to all concerned to take time from the robust debate format for Mr. Brown to explain the circumstances surrounding the allegations Mr. O'Brien made. While I understand hyperbole, to be clear, I am not and was not Mr. Brown's "defense attorney." Over the years, I have moderated innumerable panels and debates and take pride in my reputation of absolute neutrality.
All of the foregoing said, I do concur with Mr. O'Brien that transparency is essential in any elective office and all the more so in the office of the chief legal officer for the judicial district. Mr. Brown should explain the circumstances surrounding the matters Mr. O'Brien raised and I believe should do so in a timely and comprehensive manner in a letter to the editor.
Rohn K. Robbins
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