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November 09, 2010 08:00 AM UTC

Damn That Looks Bad, Mark Hurlbert Edition

  • by: Colorado Pols

Fifth District Attorney Mark Hurlbert, as many of you know, was a GOP candidate for Colorado Senate who was upset in his primary by “Tea Party” darling Tim Leonard (now in the process of narrowly losing the SD-16 election to Jeanne Nicholson). It’s easy to dismiss Hurlbert’s loss to Leonard as a phenomenon unique to this wacky election year.

On the other hand, maybe it’s not. Maybe Hurlbert has issues after all.

Hurlbert has tried to live down the world-famous 2003 case of NBA star Kobe Bryant’s alleged rape, Hulbert’s attempted prosecution of which collapsed under the combined attack of a relentless press and Bryant’s fearsome lawyers. And, via BoingBoing reported by the Vail newspaper, a new case isn’t going to help his reputation much. Possibly an understatement.

Colorado District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has dropped felony charges against Martin Joel Erzinger, a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney wealth manager who controls $1 billion in investments, because financial rules would require Erzinger to notify his clients that he was charged with a felony, and this would have “serious job implications” for the financier. Erzinger is facing charges for allegedly rear-ending cyclist Dr. Steven Milo, and then leaving the scene of the crime. Milo, a liver transplant surgeon, has spinal and brain injuries, disfiguring scars, and will likely be in pain for the rest of his life.

Got that? So next time you get charged with a felony, remember to tell the prosecutor it would really suck for your job if they found out about it. Your chances of a positive outcome increase dramatically if you can say, “I control $1 billion in Morgan Stanley investments.”

Even worse, Hurlbert claims he dropped the felony charges out of concern that the defendant wouldn’t be able to pay restitution–as if a guy who controls $1 billion in investments doesn’t have money in the bank? We’re trying to figure out any way to tell this story without the words “double standard”–sorry, folks. You can’t do it. This is what breeds contempt for the law.

No worries, Mr. Hurlbert, the voters will forget all about this next time you run for office. Really!


23 thoughts on “Damn That Looks Bad, Mark Hurlbert Edition

    1. Dr. Crybaby would have to perform somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 liver transplants to show $1,000,000,0000 in gross billings.

      Only about 5,300 livers get transplanted in an entire year in this country (2008 est.).

      Do the math.  The DA has.

      1. I suppose you probably think the woman whose head got stomped by Rand Paul’s “security” is the one who should be doing the apologizing. Do the math?  The math says that your bozo DA would have  employed an entirely different equation if the perp hadn’t been a big shot fund manager.  Your math, by the way, has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not something is a felony.

          1. Didn’t ring bell last night and I’m usually pretty good at picking up snark. Since the “No kidding” didn’t make much sense with the rest, sorry to say, I thought that was the snark. It was right before bed and a few brain cells had probably gone to bed ahead of me.  

  1. …my first and only concern would be, “Does it affect my portfolio?  Did he abscond with the goods or cheat me and others?  Etc.”

    Oh, he fucked up big time while driving?

    Not an issue.

      1. First he approved the release of someone who never should have been let out.

        Second he provided no oversight of Kimball leaving him free to do whatever.

        If you leave a loaded gun in a house full of kids you will not be the one who directly kills a child – but you should bear full responsibility.

        Suthers bears direct responsibility.

        1. Suthers isn’t a probation officer. And weren’t most, if not all of the murders committed after Kimball would have been released anyway?

          Maybe you should talk to the Democrats who wrote the laws that govern how the U.S. attorney’s office is managed and what its responsibilities are.

  2. Hurlbert got snookered.  The money manager not only must have a very high limit auto policy, he almost certainly has a multi-million dollar umbrella policy.  His future earning power is going to have very little impact on his ability to pay restitution (or pay a civil judgment).

    Dr. Milo’s  can claim the high ground, “Its not about responsibility, not justice,” but the misdemeanor convictions are not admissible in any future civil case.  If there had been a conviction on a felony vehicular assault, that could be used against Erzinger when he gets sued.  This decision by Hurlbert does have a potential financial impact on Milo.

    1. I think criminal complaints have to be filed through the DA’s office.

      Of course, since he hasn’t been charged with a felony (yet), if there’s not a plea deal saying “this concludes our business” he might still be “eligible” for one.

    2. There is an obscure provision allowing a citizen to demand a special prosecutor when there is a direct conflict of interest and in certain other circumstances, but generally, a prosecutor is within his right not to prosecute even a crime with the case tied up in a bow and certain to be successful for any non-racial reason.

  3. He was considered by many to be the more moderate and electable Republican in the SD16 primary race eventually won by Tim Leonard (who just lost to Jeanne Nicholson…).

    Maybe the GOP isn’t so dumb after all – I may have to revise my opinions upward a notch.

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