Courthouse contention continues: Courts, county to meet


A Dec. 21 letter from Sixth Judicial District Chief Judge Jeffrey Wilson to Steve Wadley, chair of the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners, indicates that the representatives of the courts and county will meet to attempt to resolve the situation concerning the courts’ potential use of the county’s administration building.

“Based upon your statements that were reported in the Durango Herald on December 21, 2017, there appears to be some confusion as to the Sixth Judicial District’s position on your offer to use the county administration building as a temporary courthouse,” Wilson’s letter begins.

In The Herald, Wadley indicated that efforts to work with the courts to find a temporary location to relocate the courts in Pagosa Springs have broken down, with the two parties no longer speaking to each other face to face.

Wilson’s two-page letter then outlines events, beginning with Wadley’s Nov. 2 offer of the county’s administration building as temporary court space and continuing through the Dec. 12 school board meeting in which Commissioner Michael Whiting declared that the county’s offer was no longer on the table.

“As stated above, the Sixth Judicial District is willing to use the BOCC building as a temporary court facility,” Wilson’s letter states. “The Board of County Commissioners has not explained to the Sixth Judicial District the reasons why the offer was withdrawn, and I am at somewhat of a loss to understand the timing and manner in which the withdrawal of the offer was communicated to the District.”

The letter then indicates that Wilson and Eric Hogue, the court’s district administrator, will meet with Commissioner Ron Maez and County Administrator Bentley Henderson “to attempt to resolve the situation.”

“I would note that the meeting was scheduled prior to the article in the Durango Herald being published wherein it was reported that you do not believe that the Sixth Judicial District is willing to speak to the commissioners face to face,” Wilson wrote. “Just as we are willing to personally meet with Commissioner Maez, we are also willing to meet personally with you at any mutually agreeable time regarding the situation. If you would like to arrange such a meeting, please contact either Mr. Hogue or myself.”

That meeting, according to Jon Sarché, deputy public information officer for the Colorado Judicial Department, is set for Dec. 27.

For more on this topic, see the Dec. 28 issue of The SUN.