Protesters question Pueblo DA's hiring practices

PUEBLO, Colo. - A group gathered outside the judicial building to demand action from Pueblo District Attorney Jeff Chostner, who they say practices nepotism.
"He is the chief enforcement officer in the entire county and for him to have this practice going on in his office is truly outrageous," said protester Alvin Rivera.
Chostner's office hired his son-in-law in 2015 and his daughter last year, and Rivera says this is sending the wrong message to the community.
"It's a very unethical practice. Nowhere in government do we have people who should or should not be hiring their own family members," Rivera said.
We reached out to Chostner, who sent a statement saying, "These two individuals went through the county HR competitive hiring process and I was not involved. Pueblo County is an equal opportunity employer and does not give discriminatory or preferential treatment based on familial relationships."
Ted Freeman was at the protest and believes the jobs went to the wrong people.

"The only reason why they hired them is because they were the only people that would for at the price and the wages that they were offering" Freeman said.
But Chostner said it's because of those low pay rates that he has a hard time filling the courtrooms. In the past two years, he said, he has had up to six job openings at once.

Chostner's statement also said, "My focus, the focus of these two individuals as well as the rest of the DA's office is fighting crime and putting criminals behind bars."
But protesters, including Rivera, say they will continue to fight until action is taken.

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