Denver, CO — Today U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet wrote to President Joe Biden to recommend candidates for Colorado’s U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal, and the U.S. District Court vacancy.
At the White House’s request, Hickenlooper and Bennet have recommended three candidates for U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal. They also recommended Regina Rodriguez to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The Biden administration will review the candidates and decide which to nominate. The Senate will need to confirm each of the final nominees for the three positions.
“These positions are vital to ensuring we have a fair criminal justice and judicial system that protects public safety, promotes equity, and upholds the rule of law,” wrote Hickenlooper and Bennet. “We believe that this diverse group of attorneys and law enforcement officials represent some of the most thoughtful, dynamic, and hard-working leaders in our state. We’re confident that they’ll serve the people of Colorado with humility and integrity.”
Recommendation for U.S. District Court: Regina Rodriguez
Recommendations for U.S. Attorney: Kristin Bronson, Hetal Doshi and Cole Finegan
Recommendations for U.S. Marshal: Cassidee Carlson, Sean Smith and Kirk Taylor
More information about each candidate can be found in the senators’ letter to President Biden, HERE and below.
Dear President Biden:
We write to recommend Regina Rodriguez to serve on the U.S. District Court for Colorado. We also recommend the candidates listed below for consideration to serve as Colorado’s U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal. These positions are vital to ensuring we have a fair criminal justice and judicial system that protects public safety, promotes equity, and upholds the rule of law.
U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
Regina Rodriguez currently works in private practice where she handles complex litigation matters. Prior to entering private practice, she served as the chief of the Civil Division in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Colorado. In addition, she currently serves on the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Law Enforcement Reform & Racial Justice Committee. Colorado Governor Jared Polis also recently appointed her to serve on the Colorado Supreme Court Nominating Commission. In 2019 and 2020, she was named Law Week Colorado’s Barrister’s Best People’s Choice for Overall Litigator. Latino Leaders Magazine named Ms. Rodriguez a top Latino lawyer in 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2020. In 2013, the Hispanic National Bar Association named her the Latina Lawyer of the Year. She obtained her BS, with honors, from the University of Iowa and her JD from the University of Colorado School of Law.
Regina Rodriguez is one of Colorado’s top attorneys with deep experience in both the public and private sectors. She has also demonstrated a continuing commitment to the community. We’re confident that she’ll make an outstanding contribution to the U.S. district court.
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado
Since 2016, Kristin Bronson has served as the City Attorney for the City and County of Denver. In this capacity, she advises the mayor, the City Council, and all City Departments and agencies. She manages a department of 240 staff, including 125 lawyers, in three locations with a budget exceeding $35 million. Since August, she has also served as Interim General Counsel for Denver International Airport. She also serves as Chair of the City of Denver’s Youth Violence Prevention Action Table. Prior to serving as City Attorney, Ms. Bronson worked in private practice. In 2019, the Metro City Attorneys Association named her as an Outstanding City Attorney. She obtained her BA from the University of Virginia and her JD from the University of Colorado School of Law.
Since 2014, Hetal Doshi has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Colorado. In that capacity, she served on President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. While serving on the Task Force, she led investigations into asset backed securities offerings arising out of the 2008 global financial crisis. She also managed negotiations with multiple state attorneys general. Ms. Doshi serves on the Procurement Collusion Strike Force and in the Economic Crimes Section. She also led the office’s community engagement efforts. Prior to serving in the U.S. Attorney’s office, she worked in private practice. She also served as President of the South Asian Bar Association of Colorado, is the President-Elect of the Faculty of Federal Advocates, and is on the Board of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association. In 2019, she was recognized with the Richard Marden Davis Award, and is also the recipient of the Center for Legal Inclusiveness’s “Inclusiveness@Work” award. Ms. Doshi obtained her BA from Emory University and her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Cole Finegan has served as the Regional Managing Partner for the Americas for a global law firm, managing approximately 1,000 lawyers and staff in 11 offices. Since 2007, he has also served as the Managing Partner of that same firm’s Denver office. In private practice, he has specialized in administrative and municipal law, government contracts, energy, and real estate. Mr. Finegan has also spent a third of his professional career in public service. He served simultaneously as Denver City Attorney and Chief of Staff to the Denver Mayor. Mr. Finegan also served as the Chief Legal Officer and the Director of Policy and Initiatives for former Colorado Governor Roy Romer. Earlier in his career, he served as Chief of Staff to a U.S. Representative from Oklahoma. He has served on multiple boards, including the I Have a Dream Foundation, and he helped create Denver’s first Family Justice Center dedicated to fighting against domestic violence. Between 2010 and 2019, and in 2021, he was rated one of the Best Lawyers in America for his work on municipal law. He was also named a Colorado Super Lawyer between 2007 and 2009, and between 2012 and 2018. Cole was also named a Lawyer of the Decade by Law Week Colorado. Mr. Finegan obtained his BA from the University of Notre Dame and his JD from the Georgetown University Law Center.
U.S. Marshal’s Office for the District of Colorado
Cassidee Carlson has served in the Aurora Police Department since 2003. She currently works as the Internal Affairs Deputy Commander. She previously served as a Sector Lieutenant, a Patrol Watch Commander, the Crimes Against Children Sergeant, the Internet Crimes Against Children Sergeant, and as a Public Information Officer. In 2020, the Department of Justice selected Ms. Carlson as a consultant to the Office for Victims of Crime. The Aurora Police Department awarded her the Meritorious Service Ribbon for leading an investigation into a missing child case, which her team ultimately found to be a homicide at the hands of his parents. She was also awarded the Meritorious Service Ribbon for her role in a hostage rescue at a hotel. In addition, Ms. Carlson received the 2019 Guardian of the Year Award from Special Olympics Colorado, where she has served on the executive council for the Law Enforcement Torch Run since 2011. Ms. Carlson received her BS from the University of Central Missouri and her Master’s degree from Regis University.
Sean Smith has served as La Plata County Sheriff since 2015. In this capacity, he oversees 135 employees and 64 volunteers. He coordinated the law enforcement operations and evacuations in response to multiple forest fires in southwest Colorado. He also helped lead the local response to the Gold King mine disaster in 2015. While serving as Sheriff, the Colorado Department of Public Safety Director appointed him to the Pre-Trial Services Task Force of the Colorado Criminal and Juvenile Justice Commission. Previously, he worked as Deputy Sheriff and in other law enforcement roles both in Colorado and across the country. Between 1989 and 1992, he was a Specialist in the U.S. Army where he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Mr. Smith attended the Law Enforcement Academy at Pueblo Community College and obtained a B.S. from Grand Canyon University.
Kirk Taylor has served as Pueblo County Sheriff since 2007. In this capacity, he oversees over 375 personnel. He worked to implement a compliance auditing process within the Sherriff’s office and helped open an Emergency Operations Center. Mr. Taylor also led bail reform efforts — both locally and within the state — and led the office through wildfires and floods. Prior to serving as Sheriff, he served as an investigator in the Pueblo District Attorney’s office. He also worked as a patrolman in the Alamosa Police Department and served in the Navy. He obtained an AA from Adams State University, a BA from Colorado State University in Pueblo, and his JD from the University of Colorado School of Law.
We believe that this diverse group of attorneys and law enforcement officials represent some of the most thoughtful, dynamic, and hard-working leaders in our state. We’re confident that they’ll serve the people of Colorado with humility and integrity. As the process moves forward, please don’t hesitate to follow up with either of us to discuss these candidates.