Prosecutor as Protagonist
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Attorney General John Suthers
B.A., 1974, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
J.D., 1977, University of Colorado, Boulder
John W. Suthers is a lifetime resident of Colorado. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Government in 1974 and from the University of Colorado Law School in 1977. From 1977 to 1981, he served as a deputy and chief deputy district attorney in Colorado Springs. From September of 1979 to January of 1981, he headed the Economic Crime Division of the DA’s office.
In January of 1981, Mr. Suthers entered private practice and became a litigation partner in the Colorado Springs firm of Sparks Dix, P.C. He remained with the firm until November of 1988, when he defeated an incumbent to be elected District Attorney of the Fourth Judicial District. He was elected to a second term as District Attorney in November of 1992. At the conclusion of that second term in January of 1997, he returned to Sparks Dix, P.C. as Senior Counsel in charge of the firm’s litigation section.
On January 12, 1999, Mr. Suthers was appointed Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections by Governor Bill Owens. As head of the Colorado correctional system, he was in charge of an organization with almost 6,000 employees and an annual operational budget of approximately $500 million.
On July 30, 2001, Mr. Suthers was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the United States Attorney for the District of Colorado. He was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Suthers represented the United States in all criminal and civil matters within the District of Colorado.
On January 4, 2005, Mr. Suthers was appointed Attorney General of Colorado. In November 2006, he won election to the Office of Attorney General by a large margin. As Attorney General, he represents and defends the interests of the people of Colorado and is chief legal counsel and advisor to state government and its many state agencies, boards and commissions.
In his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Suthers has initiated successful programs to protect children from Internet predators and to reduce mortgage and foreclosure fraud. He chairs the statewide Methamphetamine Task Force. He serves as Co-Chair of the Criminal Law Committee for the National Association of Attorneys General and is a Member of the U.S. Attorney General’s Executive Working Group.
Mr. Suthers has served on the board of numerous civic organizations. He has served as President of the El Paso County Bar Association in 1990-91 and as Senior Vice President of the Colorado Bar Association in 1996-97. He served as President of the Colorado District Attorney’s Council in 1994-95. In 1992, he was appointed by the Colorado legislature to serve as a Colorado delegate to the National Conference on Uniform State Laws and served until January of 1997. In the Summer of 2000, Mr. Suthers received a Gates Foundation Fellowship to attend the Government Executives Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
John and his wife, Janet, have been married for 32 years and have two daughters, Alison, an attorney in Denver and Kate, a Lieutenant JG in the U. S. Navy.
Mr. Suthers has authored five books. His most recent is No Higher Calling, No Greater Responsibility: A Prosecutor Makes His Case (Fulcrum Publishing, 2008), an analysis of the prosecutor’s role in the justice system.