District Lawyer Dan Might’s last ideas to the neighborhood

District Attorney Dan May’s final thoughts to the community

COLORADO SPRINGS, Co.- District Attorney Dan May released a statement Sunday saying goodbye after serving nearly four decades of serving the people of El Paso and Teller counties.

In a few days I will be resigning from my post after a career of almost 40 years as a prosecutor. Before I go, I want to take a moment to thank the citizens of the Pikes Peak area for entrusting me with the incredible men and women of the 4th Judicial District (Teller and El Paso) over the past twelve years to lead. Believe it or not, we’re the busiest DA office in the entire state, handling 32 to 35,000 cases per year, or about 350,000 to 400,000 cases in my twelve years as a DA. We have grown to over 240 employees, 90 lawyers and over 125 volunteers. They can be proud of the hard work, dedication and professionalism they have devoted to each one of these cases and the compassion with which each crime victim has been treated. During my three terms in office we have dealt with crimes such as looting the forest and Black Forest fires, black market marijuana cultivation and the resulting violence, gang violence, human trafficking and important cases like the murder of DOC director Tom Clements, the planned killings on parenting, the De’Von Bailey shooting, and the Kelsey Berreth murder, to name a few.

Personally, I would like to take a moment to recognize certain people for their outstanding work, even though I know I cannot name them all in one letter, and I apologize for that. I want to thank Martha McKinney for developing the best education and leadership program of any DA office in the state. Many of our employees have been recognized for their outstanding work over the years. Shannon Gerhart, Donna Billek, Debbie Pearson, and Dan Zook are some of the attorneys in our office who have been named Colorado Attorney of the Year. Margaret Vellar was the first recipient of the Sean May Award, Jeff Harwood was National DEA Prosecutor of the Year, Gwen Stein continues to lead our great volunteer program and won the Kaleidoscope Award for Outstanding Volunteer Coordinator in the Pikes Peak Region. Diana Colon and Joy Elder each won the Victim Advocate of the Year Award for the state of Colorado.

I am very proud of the fact that we have been leaders in innovative programs across the state. Believe it or not, it actually took our office several years to set up WiFi in the courthouse. After the successful implementation, Shannon Gerhart and Margaret Vellar converted our office from millions of pages of paper to laptops. We no longer bring 35,000 files to the courthouse in heavy trucks. Instead, we are currently only pulling 90 laptops. In my first year in office, many law enforcement officers came together to open the first Colorado Veterans Court, currently recognized as the most preeminent in the country. At our office, we should thank Doug Miles, Jeff Lindsey, and Michael Allen for being a leader in the development of this dish, along with Judges Ronald Crowder and David Shakes. With the help of County Commissioner Sallie Clark, we brought the community together to fight death from child abuse through the Not One More initiative. Because of this initiative, shocked baby deaths rarely occur in our district today. Shannon Gerhart, Jennifer Viehman, Stephanie Redfield and others have launched a human trafficking diversion / rescue program that has successfully rescued dozens of sex traffickers.

How can I possibly step down without recognizing the women and men of law enforcement in our region, including local, state, military and federal agencies? You are among the most dedicated, best educated, best educated, and professional law enforcement officers in the country. They risk their lives for us every day and deserve our appreciation, respect and gratitude. You certainly have mine.

I was honored to have served the people of this community and to have worked with some of the best people I have ever known. I have followed in the footsteps and mentored former District Attorneys Jeanne Smith and John Suthers and I am leaving the office in the knowledgeable and professional hands of a dedicated and experienced District Attorney, Michael Allen. I know he will run this office with the honesty and integrity that El Paso and Teller counties have come to know and expect from their district attorney.

Thank you for almost 40 years of memories!

District Attorney Dan May, 4th Judicial District

>> Click here to see May’s latest interview reflecting his career at FOX21.