Trouble is percolating once more in the 18th Judicial District, where District Attorney Carol Chambers seems to have fallen into the habit of blasting everybody else for their lack of judicial decorum.
A few months ago Chambers was publicly sanctioned for butting into a civil case on behalf of an Englewood official and scaring the bejeezus out of the collection attorney who was hassling her. She's also alienated judges and opposing attorneys in Arapahoe County with her brusque criticisms of their performance, as well as her overkill tactics in pursuing habitual criminal charges on chronic but low-level offenders; read all about it here and here.
Now comes a 9News report that Chambers has been firing off e-mails to the Araphoe chief judge, William Sylvester, suggesting that "overt hostility" from judges toward prosecutors will result in "docket control problems," which some around the courthouse view as a not-so-veiled threat. Chambers doesn't see it that way, insisting that the bias against her team by the bench is a longstanding problem. But then, Chambers didn't see her remarks to the attorney in the civil case as anything worth fussing over, either. The Office of Attorney Regulation disagreed, and the end result cost the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars to defend her against the reprimand that was ultimately imposed anyway.
It's too early to know if this latest fit of pique will produce yet another attorney discipline hearing, and more needless strife and expense. But when did running the courtroom become the DA's job, anyway? And just how many times does Chambers have to scorch a few judges before her much-admired "outspokenness" becomes a liability? –Alan Prendergast