The Pueblo West View

Metro hires house full-time counsel

The first full-time general counsel, a newly created staff position, will start with the Pueblo West Metropolitan District on March 31.

Harley Gifford, a Pueblo West resident and native of the Pueblo area, will serve as the full-time, on-staff attorney.

“This is yet another evolutionary step,” said Pueblo West Metropolitan District Manager Jack Johnston about progress in Pueblo West.

“I look forward to Harley joining the leadership team along with the distinguished skill set he offers to the betterment of our community.”

Gifford said he is excited about the challenges the new position will bring.

“Being the first in-house attorney we’ve had is a challenging opportunity, and it’s exciting to be able to help Pueblo West with whatever I can,” he said.

Johnston said during the 2014 budget and planning process, it was determined that an in-house counsel would be more cost-effective and business efficient for legal support.

Tom Mullans, from the Pueblo law firm of Mullans, Piersel & Reed has represented Pueblo West since 1982.

He will continue in a supporting role during the transition period.

“I would like to thank Tom Mullans for his 32 years of service to the District. His contributions to Pueblo West have been very much appreciated and we extend our best wishes to him,” said PWMD Board President Christine McCarthy.

Johnston noted that Mullans has made “significant contributions during his tenure for which Pueblo West as a community can be appreciative and proud.”

Gifford was selected through a full, open hiring process.

Johnston said the District was very lucky to have an “extremely qualified professional that was also a Pueblo West resident.”

Gifford attended Colorado State University-Pueblo before joining the United States Marine Corp where he honorably served as a Korean Cryptologic Linguist and Non-Commissioned Officer.

He graduated magna cum laude from Excelsior College with a B.A. in Liberal Studies, then earned a J.D. from Washburn University.

He served in judicial clerkships with the Kansas Departments of Agriculture and of Healing Arts.

He also served in Associate Attorney positions for private practice law firms in New Mexico and Colorado.

His areas of experience include mineral and water rights, land use, contracts, easements, real estate, human resources, HOW regulations, workers compensation and more.

“I have experience in a lot of areas within general practice firms, which will help here,” Gifford said.

He has lived in Pueblo West since 2009 and is married with two children.

Gifford said he is excited and proud to serve his community in this new venture with the District.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’d like to welcome Harley to the PWMD family and congratulate him on his new position.”

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