There’s a New Deputy DA in Lake County
Home Sweet Home. It was these three little words that made the difference for Lake County’s new Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Rusty Prindle. More specifically, home ownership was one of the weighty factors that prompted Prindle to accept the position when former DDA Mark Franklin made the jump over to the 5th Judicial District’s Summit County office last month. In fact, it was Franklin, a former law school colleague who tipped Prindle off to the Leadville opening, where Prindle effectively took office on November 18.
Prior to his Leadville re-location, Prindle developed his Colorado prosecution experience in Routt County, most recently as the Chief Deputy District Attorney, which primarily serves the Steamboat Springs community.
But the beginnings of Prindle’s law enforcement career started hundreds of mile away in New York, where he grew up in the small town of Hudson. Eventually, he obtained his liberal arts degree from the State University of New York. Prindle’s first exposure to law enforcement came as a Middleton, New York patrol officer.
“I loved the job, but back then the salary was pretty low – $19,000/year,” recalls Prindle in a recent interview with Leadville Today. Hoping for a better future (and pay), Prindle eventually moved down south to Georgia where he worked in management for the Yellow Freight System, managing a staff of 600 people.
Ultimately, his interest in law enforcement took center stage again and he obtained a second undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Arizona State University.
“During that time, I had a professor who was a retired attorney from Denver who inspired me to go to law school.” So Prindle pushed further west and attended Western State College of Law in California. A “non-traditional (older) student on scholarship,” Prindle was extremely motivated and graduated 2nd in his class in 2006.
A couple of years later, he moved to Colorado and in 2008 he took the Bar Exam and passed on the first try. His law career took him to Steamboat Springs that same year where he began as a county court deputy in the 14th Judicial District, eventually being promoted to lead attorney and ultimately Chief Deputy District Attorney in Routt County
During that time, Prindle did prosecute two high profile cases, one that allowed for cameras in the courtroom for the first time in Routt County, known as the Capote Case, where a bar fight escalated into a charge of two counts of third-degree assault . The other high profile case involved a first degree domestic violence murder case.
But eventually condo living in Steamboat grew cold for Prindle and his wife, so the lure of homeownership was a strong pull for the move to Lake County.
“You can’t touch a home for under $750,000 in Steamboat,” explained Prindle, who along with his wife are in the process of house hunting and looking forward to adding a dog to the family once they are settled.
“I’m here to serve the public, to make Leadville a nice, safe place to live,” Prindle added. Welcome Rusty Prindle, may you find the welcome mat in place at your new home: Lake County!