Judge charged with felony menacing loses leadership job

Colorado News

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado state judge was removed from his leadership position after being charged with felony menacing on Saturday.

Judge Mark Thompson, the chief judge for the 5th Judicial District, is accused of using a real or simulated weapon in the alleged July 25 menacing incident, which was investigated by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, according to limited online court records.

The case was listed as suppressed from public view and documents detailing the allegations against Thompson were not available.

In a court filing, prosecutors requested the secrecy because Thompson is a public official and “prominent member” of the community, The Denver Post reported.

“The release at this time of any of the documents of record in this matter could result in disclosure of information that could result in destruction, or secreting evidence and tampering with identified and unidentified witnesses, which could jeopardize the ongoing investigation and/or interfere with the rights of the defendant, including irreversible harm to reputation, and the defendant’s and the People’s right to a fair trial,” the prosecutors wrote.

Judge Paul Dunkelman granted the request in a one-line order Saturday. Although judges have been required since May to issue written orders that explain why they are limiting public access to a case and why there is not a less restrictive way to protect the information, such as through redactions, the order does not address that.

A message left for Thompson’s lawyer was not returned Monday.

Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Brian Boatright on Saturday appointed Dunkelman to serve as interim chief judge for the district, which includes Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake, and Summit counties, while the criminal case against Thompson is pending.

Thompson is on planned paid time off and will resume his duties as a judge when he returns, judicial branch spokesperson Rob McCallum said.

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