We are a small team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion. We look forward to working with you.
Richard “Rick” Bednarski
Criminal Defense Attorney
Rick Bednarski has been a criminal defense and civil litigation lawyer for over 20 years. He started as a Public Defender in the Colorado Springs office in 1999. He entered private practice with Richard Tegtmeier in 2002 and joined Sherman & Howard L.L.C. in 2011. Rick has tried more than 75 jury trials throughout Colorado during his career. He is a fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers (ABCL), a member of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Ben S. Wendelken Inn of Court. Rick has handled a number of cases in the Problem Solving Courts and knows how hard addiction and recovery are for individuals.
In his spare time, Rick enjoys golfing and skiing with his son (11 years old), travelling the world with his family, new dining experiences and spending quiet nights at home with Tipsy, our family dog.
Caitlin McAteer, MPS
Board Vice President
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service
Caitlin is passionate about uncovering community perspectives and enjoys empowering social-purpose organizations to challenge the status quo in search for the exceptional. She brings to SCCOR a knowledge base in nonprofit strategic planning and evaluation.
In her free time, Caitlin tirelessly hunts for the perfect cup of coffee to compliment her most recent read. She also explores the outdoors with her pup, learns about culture and history through wine, and acts as a mental health advocate.
Cherish St. Denis
ASJ Consulting Group, Senior Director
Cherish brings over 20 years of experience on a national, state, and local level developing and implementing fundraising campaigns, programs, and events for a wide array of causes, think tanks, organizations, private companies, and political candidates. Cherish spent 18 years as an Army Special Forces spouse and served on both the Care Team and Family Readiness Group (FRG). She serves as a Board Member for SCCOR, member of the Junior League, as well as an active member for many community groups. In her free time Cherish and her children serve as a foster home for kittens and large dogs.
Deana O’Riley, JD
Thomas Jefferson School of Law San Diego
Deana is in her 16th year serving a Colorado State Public Defender. She is grateful to be able to supervise brand new Public Defenders while handling complex and capital cases. Her favorite part of her work is getting to know her clients and fighting to get them through the darkest times in their lives. She has always had a special interest in veterans and active-duty military clients because her father served in Vietnam and passed away from cancer caused by Agent Orange exposure. In honor of her father. she helped to create Colorado’s first Veteran Trauma Court along with Sheilagh McAteer in 2008. She takes great pride in knowing that the Veteran Trauma Problem Solving Court serves the military members of this community giving them a way out their criminal justice involvement and allowing them to create healthy and stable futures. Without this court, many would spend years behind bars or worse because they could not beat the demons that came with combat trauma. Deana is the SCCOR Board Treasurer. She is looking forward to being able to help bring support services to problem-solving court members.
Sheilagh McAteer, JD
University of Denver College of Law
Sheilagh spent over 30 years as a Deputy State Public Defender, tirelessly representing indigent people charged with criminal offenses. During her time as a criminal defense attorney, Sheilagh came to appreciate the philosophy of Problem Solving Courts and their impact on our communities. In 2008, she was responsible for creating the first Veteran Trauma Court in Colorado, which today is recognized as one of the best in the country. Sheilagh retired from the public defender’s office in 2019 and immediately became involved in creating SCCOR, where she is currently the executive director.
Sheilagh also sits on the Colorado State Advisory Board for Problem Solving Courts and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in the School of Public Affairs-Criminal Justice program. In her free time, Sheilagh likes to travel the world and explore Colorado parks with her 2 dogs, cook, garden, and practice daily mindfulness and yoga.