Jefferson County Public Trustee Margaret Chapman has her job back.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper last week announced his appointments for eight of the 10 public trustee posts that were vacated last month.
The governor asked for the resignations of the 10 public trustees in July, following a series of Denver Post articles that highlighted budget irregularities and potential ethics violations in some of the 10 counties.
The 10 positions are the only ones of the state’s 64 public trustees to be appointed by the governor.
Chapman was one of five of the trustees who had resigned who was reappointed.
The other four are George Kennedy in Douglas County, Thomas Mowle in El Paso County, Deborah Morgan in Larimer County and Susie Velasquez in Weld County.
Two others who resigned had reapplied but were not reappointed: Boulder County’s Richard Gephardt and Pueblo County’s Nicholas Gradisar.
For Boulder County, Hickenlooper appointed Paul Weissmann; for Adams County, Susan Orecchio; and for Pueblo County, Saul Trujillo.
In Adams County, former Public Trustee Carol Snyder announced her retirement prior to being called to resign.
In a statement announcing the appointments, Hickenlooper said the search continues for trustees for Mesa and Arapahoe counties.
“It is essential that public servants maintain the public’s trust,” Hickenlooper said in the statement. “We expect that moving forward, each of these trustees will continue to do just that.”
Public trustees handle public transactions and foreclosures on real estate property for their counties. The other 54 counties in Colorado choose public trustees through different methods, often combining the office with the elected county treasurer.
State Republicans have recently been calling for reformation of the law that grants the governor the power to appoint the 10 public trustees for the state’s most populous counties.
As part of last week’s statement, the governor’s office said it also intends to seek legislative changes to the public-trustee arrangement in January.
The statement reads: “No matter what form the legislation may take, it must maintain transparency, accountability and consistency among public trustees statewide.”
In a statement, Chapman said she agreed with Hickenlooper’s plans to change the state’s public-trustee system.
“His focus is on transparency, accountability and consistency among all trustees statewide. This office has operated in this manner in Jefferson County under my tenure, and that will continue,” Chapman said.