By Brian Maass
DENVER (CBS4) – A legal secretary with the Denver District Attorney’s Office has been disciplined after making an error that caused a misdemeanor child abuse case to be dismissed.
Teresa McKisson accidentally sent a subpoena in the case to the wrong person, so the witness who was supposed to testify never received their subpoena, didn’t show up to testify and the case had to be dropped.
“I can admit it does appear I made that error,” wrote McKisson. “With the volume of work that we do, errors are an inevitable reality. I regret that it has had such a negative result.”
According to disciplinary documentation obtained by CBS4, McKisson made the subpoena error last year.
Her supervisor, Gena Netwal, called the mistake “substantial and irreparable, and resulted in the dismissal of the case.”
McKisson received the equivalent of five days loss of pay.
Former District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, who was in office when the incident occurred, told CBS4, “It’s frustrating any time a case has to be dismissed due to a clerical error. Based on the circumstances a disciplinary action was appropriate.”
McKisson still works at the Denver District Attorneys Office.
Ken Lane, a spokesperson for the current District Attorney Beth McCann, said “Nobody had ever heard of this happening before.”
Lane said with about 18,000 felony and misdemeanor cases filed every year, the office deals with enormous volume.
“So in that context,” said Lane, “It’s a serious but unusual one-time event.”