Long-Serving Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty to Resign

By Colby Hamilton on March 14, 2014 4:26pm 

 Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty will depart from Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration on March 28, after serving as commissioner for more than a decade.
Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty will depart from Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration on March 28, after serving as commissioner for more than a decade.
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DNAinfo/Colby Hamilton

CIVIC CENTER — New York City Sanitation Department Commissioner John Doherty will resign from his position on March 28, according to a department spokeswoman.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office confirmed the resignation Friday.

In a statement, de Blasio thanked Doherty for “his decades of service,” and for his “leadership, competency and tenacity for New York City in the most challenging times.”

“He has never failed to persevere in the most trying situations. He has always delivered for New Yorkers — when they needed it the most,” the mayor said. “I could not have been more fortunate to begin my term as mayor with a commissioner like that at my side, especially during my transition.”

When asked Doherty’s reasons for resigning, the Sanitation spokeswoman said, “If you recall, he said he would stay during the snow season.”

Doherty’s departure was first reported by Capital New York.

He departs a fledgling administration that faced record snowfall at the beginning of its first year in office. But Doherty’s tenure as the current head of the department dates back to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s first few months in office in 2002, according to his biography on the Department of Sanitation website.

A New York City native, Doherty started at the Sanitation Department in 1960, where he worked his way up in the ranks to eventually becoming commissioner in 1994. He left the department in 1998, only to return under Bloomberg.

His brief time under de Blasio saw Doherty become the focus of media stories about his relationship with the new mayor following some questionable snow-clearing decisions back in January.

The mayor’s office did not respond to questions about who will take over the department after Doherty departs.

A sanitation spokeswoman confirmed Doherty will be vacationing in Aruba after leaving the department.

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