Lawyer Scott Martinez joins Denver Mayor Hancock's administration
By Lyn Bartels
The Denver Post
Democrat Scott Martinez, the lawyer who played an enormous role in his party's recent victories on new political boundaries, is leaving private practice to work for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
Martinez begins Jan. 9 as deputy city attorney.
"I'm no stranger to the high stakes at the intersection of law and politics, and I'm excited to bring that experience to achieve the mayor's vision for the city," Martinez said. "He's going to do big things, and I'm excited to play a role in his administration."
The hire comes as Hancock, who took office in July, has come under fire for not appointing more Latinos.
Lawyer Jon Anderson, who works with Martinez at Holland & Hart, said his fellow Republicans should be celebrating the appointment.
"Scott has established a successful practice centered around making life harder for us Republicans," said Anderson, former legal counsel to Republican Gov. Bill Owens. "He is a key Democrat mastermind and served his clients well in the redistricting and reapportionment arena. Having him temporarily neutralized as the deputy city attorney is great news for the Colorado GOP."
Martinez, 33, of Golden, played a key role this year in drawing new congressional maps and was the behind-the-scenes architect on drawing new legislative boundaries. Democrats won both battles.
House Speaker Frank McNulty, who saw fellow Republican incumbents drawn into the same districts, called the Democratic maps "vindictive." He lashed out at Martinez on Thursday.
"Mayor Hancock should hope that Scott Martinez brings a higher level of professionalism as a member of the city attorney's office than he displayed as a Democratic hack in the reapportionment process," McNulty said.
Several Democrats dismissed the comment, calling McNulty a sore loser.
Martinez will work under City Attorney Doug Friednash on a "wide range of legal and policy issues," according to a news release.
He will earn $121,700, which he acknowledged is a hefty pay cut.
At a meeting this month organized by the Colorado Latino Forum, Hancock took heat about the number of Latinos he has appointed.
"I suspect we're going to have more Latino appointments coming up very soon," he replied.
At that time, he had already offered the job to Martinez, but the announcement wasn't made until Thursday.
Roxana A. Soto of Viva Colorado contributed to this report.
Lynn Bartels: 303-954-5327 or firstname.lastname@example.org