Congratulations to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Tafoya who was appointed as Colorado’s new federal magistrate Tuesday.

Kathleen M. Tafoya, described as a tough prosecutor who put several members of the Rolling 30s Crips behind bars, was named a federal magistrate judge on Tuesday. Tafoya is a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law and spent 17 years as a federal prosecutor. She is most recently credited for leading the crack-cocaine conspiracy case against the Rolling 30s Crips, the largest gang roundup in state history.

Having been on the other side of her cases for all of her 17 years, I can attest to her toughness, but more importantly, to her dedication, her intellect and her integrity. Long-time Denver attorney Walter Gerash says in the article,

“I think the more women and minorities we have on the bench, the better it is,” Gerash said. “She also has experience in criminal law. Hopefully she’ll remember the other side too.”

While I can’t say defense lawyers should expect to win more hearings with Tafoya on the bench, I do expect we’ll get a fair hearing. These days, that counts for a lot.