June 4 2010, 9:07 AM
Justice Mary Mullarkey will retire this fall after 23 years of serving on the Colorado Supreme Court, including 12 years as its chief justice. Mullarkey, 66, made the announcement Thursday that she will leave on November 30, according to the Denver Business Journal. She is credited with a number of reforms, such as an integrated information system that links five state criminal-justice agencies. "The highest calling for any attorney is public service," she says in a statement (via The Denver Post). "I feel lucky I have had the opportunity to serve, and have greatly enjoyed not only the work of a Supreme Court justice, but also the relationships I've formed with my colleagues and others in the judicial branch." Her critics claim Mullarkey has led the court to the left, citing controversial decisions, such as one that let school districts retain some tax revenues. Those who worked with her, including Attorney General John Suthers, a Republican, have praised her leadership of the court. "While we have not agreed on every issue, I salute the dedication of the chief justice to public service and her work to make the judicial system in Colorado more accessible and open to the public, such as through the Court in the Community Program," he says. "She also has done outstanding work in making the Ralph L. Carr Justice Center a reality." Her replacement will be appointed by the governor after a special selection committee comes up with three possible replacements, according to the Grand Junction Sentinel. The chief justice position, however, will be chosen by the remaining justices on the seven-member court.