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Jacobson turns himself in

Carolyn Sackariason

A local elected official turned himself into authorities yesterday, answering to a felony charge related to an alleged outburst when he was arrested for driving drunk. Carolyn Sackariason reports.

  Snowmass Town Councilman Chris Jacobson appeared handcuffed in front of a judge Thursday. He was advised that he is charged with criminal mischief, a class 5 felony. His arrest warrant says he trashed the Pitkin County Jail on June 26, when he was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI.

The damage is seen on jail video released by the sheriff’s office, and  is estimated to be more than $14,000 worth. It includes equipment ripped off the walls and damage to a restraint chair Jacobson was strapped to.

Jacobson’s attorney, Arnie Mordkin, says the jail video should not have been released to the media and could damage his client’s case.

“I think it is an ethical violation, if not a legal violation. People are presumed innocent. That presumption lasts throughout the case.We don’t taint jury. We have a relatively small jury pool and we don’t try to win our case by tainting a jury," he says.


He bonded out and is free as long as he follows the conditions attached to the case, which includes sobriety monitoring. Prosecutor Andrea Bryan says Jacobson has prior DUI convictions.

Judge Denise Lynch is presiding because district court judgeGail Nichols, recused herself from the case. The arrest warrant states that Jacobson repeatedly insulted Nichols while he was in a police car en route to the jail.

Nichols also presided over Jacobson’s recent divorce with the CEO of the Aspen Art Museum, Heidi Zuckerman.

Jacobson is scheduled to appear in court again on August 3. Carolyn Sackariason, Aspen Public Radio news.