Three newly elected Montezuma County public officials were sworn into office Tuesday by 22nd Judicial Judge Doug Walker.
County commissioners Kent Lindsay, District 2, and Joel “Joe” Stevenson, District 3, took the oath of office.
Matt Margeson was sworn in as the newly elected district attorney for the 22nd Judicial District, which covers Montezuma and Dolores counties.
Each attorney with the DA’s office also took the oath.
The event was held online on Webex and the county YouTube channel. It took place at the Montezuma County Combined Courthouse, but as a pandemic precaution was not open to the public.
Candidates were allowed no more than 10 friends and family to attend the ceremony, masks were required, and oaths were held a half-hour apart to prevent gathering in the courthouse.
Each official vowed that they will “faithfully execute the duties of their office, and will, to the best of their abilities, preserve protect and defend the organic law, the U.S. Constitution and Colorado constitution.”
Candidates provided comments after taking the oath.
“I want to express my gratitude to the people of the 22nd Judicial District for giving me this opportunity,” Margeson said. “When I was sworn in, I felt very thankful to be able to continue my work at the DA’s office.”
Margeson has been a prosecutor at the DA’s office for many years, and was most recently the assistant DA.
“I want the public to know that we have a dedicated and passionate team working very hard to see justice done for the community,” Margeson stated. “My co-workers are amazing people, and I can’t credit them enough for the success this office has seen.”
Commissioner Stevenson said taking the oath felt great and is the official beginning of his term.
“These are challenging times, but we will do the best we can to move forward at the local level,” he said. “I want the public to know that my approach will be to become educated on issues before making a decision, and I will use common sense.”
Lindsay said he will use his experience and knowledge of the community to help govern the county.
Some of his priorities are supporting water supply and water rights, seeing through the renovation of the M&M Truck Stop site south of Cortez, and continuing the fight for reestablishing two grazing allotments currently under review on Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.
Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Council member Lyndreth Wall attended the ceremony and congratulated the candidates.
He urged cooperation and partnership between the tribe and county.
“Our door is always open, and we look forward to working together,” he said. “We do a lot of good with a team effort.”
Outgoing DA Will Furse has been hired by Margeson to serve as assistant DA. Furse served as DA for two four-year terms years, the limit allowed. He will continue his role as a prosecutor for the district.
Furse said serving as DA for the past eight years has been “the most exciting and fulfilling job of my legal career. I thank our community for having given me the chance to serve.”
He said Margeson is an “extremely competent and qualified replacement. I have nothing but confidence in him and our exceptional team of attorneys and advocates.”
The elected officials met at the Montezuma County commissioners room Tuesday afternoon for a meet and greet with the public. About 20 people attended.
“I want them to keep up the honesty, attend all the meetings, and stay above board as they work toward progress,” said Marylyn Miller of Mancos.