Former Puebloan Anthony "Tony" Navarro will realize a longtime goal when he is sworn in as the newest member of the Colorado Court of Appeals. "This is a great feeling of accomplishment and gratitude," Navarro, 41, said Thursday. "This is not only a professional accomplishment but it's also a way for me to give back to the people of Colorado."
Navarro will be sworn in at 3 p.m. at the new Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center in Denver by Colorado Supreme Court Justice Monica Marquez, a longtime friend and law school classmate of Navarro.
Navarro replaces Robert Russel, who resigned in November.
It was while working as a clerk for former Supreme Court Judge Alex Martinez in the 1990s that Navarro, a 1989 graduate of East High School, said he knew he wanted to become a judge.
"I really got to see how the state courts operate. I really enjoyed being a part of the appellate process," he said of his clerk time. "It was then the seed was planted that this is something that I wanted to do someday."
After graduating from East, Navarro, a Boettcher scholar, attended the University of Colorado and Yale Law School.
He began his career in corporate law in San Francisco but returned to Colorado to clerk for Martinez.
Prior to his appointment to the court of appeals, Navarro was the supervisory attorney and special assistant U.S. attorney for the Social Security Administration's Office of General Counsel.
Navarro, who had been nominated for the court of appeals three other times, was appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in October to fill Russel's vacancy.
Although elated with his new position, Navarro said today's ceremony will be bittersweet as his late mother, Alberta Vega, won't be there to see him accomplish his goal.
"She passed away two days before I was nominated by the commission in September. She was one of my biggest supporters and biggest champions," he said. "I know she will be with me in spirit. Part of my way to honor her memory is to perform as an outstanding judge."
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