O’Donnal in split vote named Grand County Justice Court judge

The Grand County Council after a lengthy closed executive session in a split vote selected Danalee Welch-O’Donnal to be Grand County’s next Justice Court Judge.

Danalee Welch-O’Donnal
Danalee Welch-O’Donnal is the new Grand County Justice Court judge, effective Jan. 6. Courtesy photo

O’Donnal is a 14-year veteran of the Grand County Attorney’s office, where she is a paralegal.

O’Donnal’s judgeship begins Jan. 6. She, along with other recently named judges, will attend judicial training and must pass a test.

Her annual salary will be negotiated at a later date.

O’Donnal was one of three finalists for the position. She replaces Judge David Tubbs, who was forced to step down on his birthday in November. State law mandates judges can’t serve past 70 years of age.

Tubbs was in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting and appeared to be upset with the council’s decision. The vote was 4-3 with no discussion in favor of naming O’Donnal, with Chair Evan Clapper, Vice Chair Mary McGann and Council Members Curtis Wells and Rory Paxman giving her the nod.