Eastern Plains DA Pleads Guilty For Taking Subordinate’s Prescription Opioids, Will Enter Treatment

Thirteenth Judicial District
District Attorney Brittny B. Lewton of the 13th Judicial District, which serves Loga, Morgan, Yuma, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington and Kit Carson counties.

Brittny Lewton, the lead prosecutor for six eastern Colorado counties, has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and a petty offense related to her taking prescription opioid pills from a subordinate and consuming them at her home.

Lewton’s term as district attorney ends on January 1. She will serve two years supervised probation and undergo treatment as part of her sentence.

A tearful Lewton told state Judge Todd Taylor during a remote video hearing that she has worked in the 13th Judicial District DA’s office since before she passed the bar exam and she’s been dedicated to her staff and her family the whole time.

“I don’t want the court to have some image of me as some drug addict who never went to their kids’ functions … I just want the court to have a broader picture of me,” Lewton said. “I am sorry that we’re all here … I’m sorry to my employees and my husband and my mother. This is not how I wanted to end my career, but I was honest from the very beginning.”

Lewton was initially charged with three counts related to drug possession and conspiracy and a single count of official misconduct.

In accepting Lewton’s plea deal, Judge Taylor told Lewton that she likely felt like she had “fallen from grace.”

“We’re not here because you have an addiction,” Taylor said. “We’re here because you had a lapse in judgment.”

Gov. Jared Polis last year appointed state Attorney General Phil Weiser as a special prosecutor on the case against Lewton after reports surfaced of inappropriate activity in the office related to prescription drugs. A 10-page indictment unsealed in March stated that Lewton asked a subordinate “to help a sister out” and proceeded to take prescription pills from the woman’s desk and drop them into her purse.

Lewton told Colorado Bureau of Investigations officials that she ingested the contents of the pre-packaged bottle of Norco, a prescription opioid painkiller that includes hydrocodone, according to the Attorney General’s office.

In Monday’s hearing, First Assistant Attorney General Rob Shapiro told the judge that Lewton’s struggles with addiction mirror what many other Coloradans have gone through.

“Ms. Lewton is a well-educated career public servant and, like thousands of Coloradans before her … were unfortunate examples of being addicted to prescription opioid medication,” he said, “This was not a one time incident, but what is important is the defendant has the ability … to focus on her treatment.”