- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

DENVER (AP) - An experienced advocate for abused and neglected children now leads a state agency dedicated to the same mission.

Stephanie Villafuerte is the new Child Protection Ombudsman for the Colorado Child Protection Ombudsman Board.

Villafuerte most recently was executive director of the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center.

The ombudsman’s board became an independent agency within the state Judicial Department this year. The ombudsman’s office investigates complaints about child protection services and recommends improvements, among other duties.

Villafuerte also has served as a chief deputy district attorney in Denver and as deputy chief of staff to former Gov. Bill Ritter.

Judge Kenneth Plotz, the board’s chairman, announced Villafuerte’s appointment on Wednesday.

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