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Boulder County Deputy District Attorney Anne Kelly has been appointed to become the new top prosecutor for the 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Kelly’s appointment was announced by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis in a release Monday morning.

“I am honored to be selected for this role and my top priority is to restore trust in the office of the District Attorney and the criminal justice system,” Kelly said in a statement. “Restoring trust requires transparency, constant engagement, and implementation of effective systems while prioritizing being accessible to the community including law enforcement, victims, community groups, and defense attorneys.”

The 12th Judicial District covers Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache counties.

Kelly will replace Alonzo Payne, who resigned in July following a recall effort led by the city of Alamosa and an investigation by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser into violations of the state’s Victim Rights Act.

“Coloradans must have the opportunity to make their voices heard to make our state a better place, and that’s exactly what the people of the San Luis Valley did when they felt their concerns were not being taken seriously or treated with respect,” Polis said in a statement. “An effective prosecutor takes the concerns of law enforcement, commissioners, and victims and works to address them through common-sense problem-solving, and I’m confident that’s what Anne Kelly will do as the new DA for the 12th Judicial District.

“We welcome Anne to this new role, bringing her experience as a prosecutor, thank her for answering this new and challenging call to public service, and know she is committed to bringing everyone to the table to deliver justice and restore trust and confidence in the District Attorney’s Office. As she rebuilds the District Attorney’s office, we will help her succeed in any way we can.”

Kelly has previously worked as a prosecutor in the 18th and 19th judicial districts and was most recently in the 20th Judicial District serving Boulder County, where she helped create and lead a domestic violence response team that received national recognition.

Kelly was one of the attorneys tasked with helping cover cases in the 12th Judicial District following Payne’s resignation, and decided to apply for the vacancy.

“I am absolutely thrilled for Anne Kelly,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said in a statement. “It is a loss for our office because Anne is terrific, but she will be an outstanding district attorney for the victims, community members, and law enforcement officers of the 12th Judicial District. I am grateful for all she has done for our office and Boulder County. Anne is a tireless advocate for justice, and she will be a great leader for the District Attorney’s Office in the 12th (Judicial District). I am excited to work with her as a fellow district attorney.”

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