After law school, Michael served for twelve years as a prosecutor at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Michael handled all types of serious felony cases, including sex crimes, hate crimes and homicides. He quickly rose to supervisory positions, including Deputy Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit, and ultimately 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.
In 2009, Michael was recruited by the Colorado Attorney General to head up the Colorado DNA Justice Review Project, an effort that led to the exoneration of an innocent man wrongly convicted of murder. Just months after arriving in Colorado, Michael was promoted to serve as the head of the Criminal Justice Section for the Attorney General. He supervised several units, including Environmental Crimes, Financial Fraud, Special Prosecutions, and the Peace Officer Standards and Training Unit. In addition to handling high-profile cases, he helped push for criminal justice reform as the Attorney General’s representative to the legislature.
Michael served as the second-in-command for the District Attorney’s Office for Jefferson and Gilpin Counties until being appointed Boulder County District Attorney. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office, including overseeing grand jury investigations, human trafficking cases and white-collar crime cases. Michael also acted as a liaison with law enforcement agencies, the defense bar, victims’ groups, and the public.
A Respected Voice for Reform, A Teacher to the Next Generation
Michael has served on numerous groups and committees with projects leading to significant criminal justice reform, such as the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, and the Colorado Best Practices Committee for Prosecutors. 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 helped establish problem-solving courts and diversion programs to help offenders get back on the right track.
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.
Boulder County is Home
Michael and his wife, Antonia, have been married for fourteen years, and are the proud parents of ten-year-old twins. Antonia is also a former prosecutor. Michael and Antonia moved to Boulder in 2010. When he is not working or spending time with his family, you can find Michael running on one of Boulder County’s many trails as he trains for his next ultra-marathon. Michael and his family enjoy running the Bolder Boulder every year.
This article originally appeared in the Daily Camera Every cold case homicide and missing person case represents a tragic and unexplained loss. These victims deserve justice. Their families deserve answers and closure. That’s why tackling Boulder County’s cold cases is a priority for me as your district attorney. I am excited to announce the formation … Continued
This letter to the editor originally appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera on April 2nd. June’s primary to determine the next DA for the 20th Judicial District will be between interim DA Michael Dougherty and state Rep. Mike Foote, who also serves as a deputy DA in Boulder. There is a push from local political … Continued
This article originally appeared in the Daily Camera “Getting it off the ground is a top priority for me,” Michael Dougherty said The Boulder District Attorney’s Office is partnering with the Boulder public defender’s office, the defense bar and the University of Colorado’s Korey Wise Innocence Project to create a conviction integrity unit that would … Continued