Paschall won't be tried a third time

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By AJ Vicens

It's over.

District Attorney Scott Storey took two swings at prosecuting former Jeffco treasurer Mark Paschall after Paschall was accused of soliciting a kickback on his way out of the treasurer's office. Both times Storey missed.

He's decided not to risk a strikeout.

Storey announced Aug. 18 that he will not put Paschall on trial for a third time on the charge of compensation for past official behavior. Paschall was indicted in February 2007 after being accused of offering a political appointee in his office an $18,000 post-tax bonus in the waning days of his term on the condition she give him half. Paschall was acquitted of criminal attempted theft during his first trial in Feburary 2008, but the jury deadlocked on the second charge, compensation for past official behavior. A second trial in July produced the same result on that charge.

"I've been consistent in holding elected officials to a high degree of responsibility," Storey said Aug. 13. "Mark Paschall is no different. He had a fiduciary responsibility to the community and the citizens."

"I feel it was appropriate for us to prosecute him and to try him on two separate occassions," Storey said. "But I also understand I have an ethical obligation. We have a duty to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and the last two trials we haven't done that."

Storey noted that more than half the jurors who heard the case had voted to acquit Paschall of compensation for past official behavior.

After the last jury deadlocked in July, David Lane, Paschall's defense attorney, said that the case was turning into a "persecution" rather than a prosecution, and there'd be no reason to try the case a third time.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for updates and breaking news.