Aug 17, 2010 7:12 PM by Zach Thaxton

Legal Wrangle Over Teller Co. Sheriff's Residency

A September 16 court date has been set to determine the meaning of the word "inhabitant."  That word may determine the fate of the remainder of Kevin Dougherty's term as Sheriff of Teller County.

Dougherty's term is set to expire in 5 months, but his purchase of a home in Colorado Springs on June 24 has Teller County Commissioners and some citizens pushing for his immediate removal.  Deborah McKown of Teller County Citizens Against Corruption attended a special commissioners' meeting on the issue Tuesday.  "Dougherty has done something that is against the code," she said.  "He has removed himself from Teller County."

Dougherty has stated that he is renting a room in a friend's home in Florissant.  Dougherty's assistant in the Teller County Sheriff's office in Divide told News First 5 that Dougherty has obtained an attorney and would not be offering comment.  Tuesday was the deadline for Dougherty to submit paperwork to demonstrate the location of his primary residence in response to litigation by Teller County Commissioners.  A September 16 court date was set to hear the case.  "If he is not an inhabitant of Teller County, it's the Board's responsibility to appoint a vacancy as soon as possible," said Commissioner Jim Ignatius.  When asked whether the Teller County Board of Commissioners considers Kevin Dougherty to be the Sheriff of Teller County, Ignatius replied, "No, because of the inhabitant issue."

Dougherty was elected Sheriff in 2003.  He will be replaced by Michael Ensminger, who defeated Mark Manriquez in the the August 10 Republican Primary Election.  Ensminger is running unopposed in the November general election.


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