by Pam Zubeck
Teller County Sheriff Kevin Dougherty submitted his resignation Tuesday amid a lawsuit over his eligibility to be sheriff after moving to El Paso County several months ago.
Dougherty and his wife bought a house in June
28 east of Marksheffel Road, north of Fountain. He sold his home in Divide, also in June 24, records show.
State law requires sheriffs to be inhabitants in the county in which they serve. The battle over Dougherty’s status has been ongoing for several months, with Dougherty maintaining that he lived in Teller County where he rented a place.
In the agreement approved Tuesday, commissioners agreed to pay half of Dougherty’s attorney fees up to $1,250, and to pay his salary and benefits through Oct. 1. In an unexplained provision of the agreement, commissioners agreed not to eliminate any approved command staff positons in the Sheriff’s Office for 14 days after Dougherty’s replacement assumes duties of office.
That person is Michael Ensminger, who won the Aug. 10 Republican primary and, facing no general election opponent, is due to take office in January. Commissioners appointed Ensminger to become acting sheriff starting at noon Friday when Dougherty’s resignation becomes effective.