Cortez City Manager John Dougherty announced his resignation Friday, effective April 30.
Dougherty’s resignation comes after an arduous 2½-year term that involved a multiyear financial audit process, which was hampered by an embezzlement investigation. Dougherty intends to stay on until April 30 to help ensure a smooth transition to a new city manager.
The desire to spend more time with his kids was a motivating factor in his decision.
“My kids basically said, Dad, it’s time, and we want you closer to us. I will miss working with all the hardworking men and women of the City of Cortez, but it is time for me to move on and be able to spend more time with them,” Dougherty said in a statement.
Mayor Mike Lavey expressed his feelings about Dougherty’s departure.
“John has served the City of Cortez well in his time here. Cortez City Council is sad to see him go but understand that family must come first,” Lavey said. “He has done an exceptional job working through the challenges that were presented to him from day one. We appreciate his willingness to stay on during the transition to a new City Manager and help us have as seamless a changeover as possible.”
“John has served the City of Cortez well in his time here,” he said.
The city’s former finance director, Katheryn Moss, pleaded guilty to a Class 5 felony charge of embezzling $63,642 from the city of Cortez between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2018.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s probe further delayed ongoing city audits, threatening to cut Cortez off from state funding.
The city of Cortez intends to work with the Colorado Municipal League and other organizations to find a suitable candidate for the position.