Sun, Dec. 15

Durrer named Arizona 'Paralegal of the Year'

Kathy Durrer receiving award from Aaron Carreon-Ainsa, Chief Phoenix City Prosecutor and Elizabeth Ortiz, Executive Director of APAAC.

Kathy Durrer receiving award from Aaron Carreon-Ainsa, Chief Phoenix City Prosecutor and Elizabeth Ortiz, Executive Director of APAAC.

Kathy Durrer, a paralegal in the Yavapai County Attorney's Office, has been awarded the Outstanding Arizona Paralegal of the Year for 2011. This announcement was made on Friday, December 2, 2011, at a conference sponsored by the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys' Advisory Council (APAAC) in Phoenix, Arizona.

Durrer has worked as a paralegal for the Yavapai County Attorney's Office since 2002. Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk stated, "Kathy is a phenomenal paralegal with outstanding analytical, research and writing abilities. She has had a direct impact on many of the successful prosecutions in our office, and continues to tackle head-on major and complex cases every day. I cannot think of a more fitting and deserving paralegal in the state of Arizona to be the recipient of this award."

In addition to paralegal, Durrer is a retired Major of the United States Air Force and a former school teacher. She has a B.S. in Operations Management from Troy State University in Alabama; an M.B.A. in Resource Management from Saint Mary's University in Texas; and an M.Ed in Language Arts Secondary Education from Auburn University in Alabama. Dennis McGrane, Chief Deputy in the Yavapai County Attorney's Office, notes that: "Kathy's lifelong thirst for knowledge continues to this day and can be readily observed in the way she approaches her work. Yavapai County is so fortunate to have her among our public servants."

Polk further stated: "Kathy is always focused on the task at hand, goes above and beyond her duties, and - most important to this office - she has the highest of legal and ethical standards."

Among the prosecutions of note that have benefited from Durrer's work are the James Ray case, where the jury recently returned guilty verdicts on 3 counts of negligent homicide for the deaths of three people due to prolonged heat exposure in a sweat lodge led by Ray; the Elise Townsend fraud case that resulted in a three and ½ year prison sentence; and the Hiland/Cottrell local investment scam that involved the theft of $1.6 million dollars from twenty-one local senior citizens. Three of the four defendants are currently serving nine or more years in prison in this complex financial fraud case.

Outside the office, Durrer plays as hard as she works. She enjoys camping and hiking with her husband and dog in the wilds of Arizona. She loves to gather with her family and children whenever possible, and is a marvelous cook.

Durrer said: "I love what I do and very proud to be a member of an office committed to seeking justice for victims of crime. I am honored by this award."

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