County Attorney forced to retire after three decades

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. County Commissioner Rose Pugliese has been trying for the last year to give the County Attorney's office a fresh start and now with the support of Commissioner John Justman she has won the battle.

County Attorney Lyle Dechant was given the option to retire from his position of 31 years or be fired. Dechant decided to retire early and sent a resignation letter which was accepted by a two to one vote.

Commissioner Steve Acquafresca cast the dissenting vote and said he wishes the decision was done in a different way so Dechant could have kept his job for the sake of the County.

"Remain on through this succession process which would have helped us immensely," Acquafresca.

The resignation letter asks for a severance package of three months pay and benefits.

Commissioner Justman said in a statement, "The Board has a distinct vision for a better Mesa County that includes more transparency on decisions that affect tax payers. We are committed to
creating the right environment to execute our plan."

Attorney Dave Frankel will be acting as County Attorney until a permanent replacement is named.

Officials said they expect this process to take three months.

They also want to celebrate Sechant's three decades of service and wish him the best in his life.

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