by Bill Knowles & David Santistevan
TRINIDAD — After days of weighing the pros, cons, and future of the Third Judicial District attorney’s office, Jon Neil Barclay on Tuesday, May 10, decided to withdraw from the race.
This makes Henry Solano, who owns land in the district and is currently working in New York, the next DA in Las Animas and Huerfano Counties. Solano is the only candidate now running for the office. Barclay indicated in his press release he would support Solano.
In the Tuesday press release Barclay said, “I take this decision reluctantly but I believe that the necessary funding to staff and professionally run the district attorney’s office will not be forthcoming.
“Unfortunately, the funding authorities for the Third Judicial District have underfunded this office to such a degree and for such a long period of time that the safety of the citizens of this district is at peril. I do not have faith that this situation will soon remedy itself and consequently I have decided to remain in private practice and serve the public in different ways.”
Funding for the office comes from both Las Animas and Huerfano counties, and is drawn from each county’s General Fund. Funding is proportionate to each county’s population, as established by Colorado statute. Henry Solano, who served as Solicitor of Labor in the Clinton administration, is a partner in the law firm Wilson Elser’s Denver office. He began his career as a poverty law attorney with Colorado Rural Legal Services. He later served as an assistant Colorado attorney general, and as the U.S. attorney in Denver.
He has served on the board and as the interim president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Between 2001 and 2012, he was a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf. He has served on the boards of numerous Colorado-based organizations, including the Mile High United Way and Colorado Public Television.
Solano could not be reached for comment.