GREELEY — Judge James Hiatt, chief judge of the Eighth Judicial District in Larimer County, announced his retirement Tuesday, the day after his controversial ruling that halted a major identity theft investigation.
Hiatt's announcement also comes a week after Weld District Court chief judge Roger Klein said he will retire.
Hiatt's final day is July 31. Klein's is June 30.
Hiatt on Monday ruled that a Weld County investigation targeting illegal immigrants through their tax records was illegal. Hiatt put a halt to the probe and ordered 5,000 records seized in a search of Amalia's Tax and Translation Service either be destroyed or returned.
Hiatt was appointed district court judge in April 1986. In 2000, he was appointed Chief Judge.
Hiatt has been evaluated by four Judicial Performance Commissions over the span of his judgeship and been unanimously recommended for retention each time.
He received high marks from both lawyers and non-lawyers in case management, application and knowledge of the law, communications, demeanor and diligence.