Deputy DA named prosecutor of the year

Dan Garcia, a deputy district attorney with the 21st Judicial District in Grand Junction, has been named the Colorado Welfare Fraud Council Prosecutor of the Year.

The council is comprised of local, state and federal employees who work with public assistance programs and are dedicated to detecting and preventing fraud against those programs.

Matt Murphy, an investigator with the Mesa County Department of Human Services, nominated Garcia for the award. Murphy said Garcia worked on a lengthy case involving an habitual welfare fraud offender and reached a plea agreement that avoided a costly trial. “Mr. Garcia was very inclusive during the two-year process and kept me informed of the developments in this case every step of the way,” Murphy said. “He included me in the sentencing decisions and wanted to make sure our wishes were considered even though he didn’t have to.”

District Attorney Pete Hautzinger also praised Garcia: “Dan does outstanding work for us here in the district attorney’s office. He is truly deserving of this statewide recognition.”