Michael Dougherty has been in public service for his entire career. He has had the privilege of being a leader in large public law offices, including the Attorney General’s Office. As a result, he is passionate about doing the right thing – and the role that the Attorney General should play in helping our communities.
Michael serves as the second-in-command for the District Attorney’s Office for Jefferson and Gilpin Counties. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office, handles serious cases involving victims, and acts as a liaison with law enforcement agencies, the defense bar, victims' groups, and the public.
Prior to holding his current position, Michael was in charge of the Criminal Justice Section for the Attorney General’s Office. He supervised several units, including Special Prosecutions, Environmental Crimes, Financial Fraud, and the Peace Officer Standards and Training Unit. He helped push for criminal justice reform as a member of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. He also represented the Attorney General in the Colorado Legislature. Before taking over the Criminal Justice Section, Michael served in the Attorney General’s Office as the supervisor of the Colorado DNA Justice Review Project.
Michael has been a member of the Colorado Best Practices Committee for Prosecutors, which provides statewide guidance to prosecutors on current issues in criminal justice. For his work on a bill mandating improved procedures for eyewitness identifications, Michael received the Innocence Project’s Award for Advocate for Innocence and Justice.
Michael has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado Law School, the University of Denver Sturm School of Law, and at Fordham University. He also was awarded the Instructor of the Year award by the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council. Michael also serves on the Board of the National District Attorneys Association.
Prior to moving to Colorado with his family, Michael served for twelve years as a prosecutor at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in New York City. Michael handled all types of serious felony cases, including sex crimes and homicides. He rose to supervisory positions including serving as Deputy Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit. In 2007, Michael was promoted and became responsible for the management, budget, and personnel of the District Attorney’s Office (an agency with over 1,200 employees), while continuing to prosecute serious cases.
During his tenure at the Manhattan DA’s Office, Michael frequently volunteered to meet with a wide range of community groups, providing well over one hundred talks, courthouse tours and question-and-answer sessions about the criminal justice system. Michael received the New York County Lawyers’ Association’s Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication to New York City Students.
Michael grew up in Seaford, New York. The son of working-class parents, Michael loaded trucks for UPS and worked at a deli while attending Nassau Community College. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Boston University School of Law. At his law school graduation in 1997, the faculty awarded Michael the Community Service Award in recognition of his extensive volunteer work and his leadership of the Public Interest Project.
Michael and his wife, Antonia, have been married for thirteen years, and are the proud parents of nine-year-old twins. Antonia is also a former prosecutor. When he is not working or spending time with his family, you can find Michael running Colorado’s spectacular trails as he trains for his next ultra-marathon. Michael has twice finished the Leadville 100-Mile Trail Run (2013 and 2016), as well as many 50-mile races around the state.