The city of Durango has named an acting finance director to replace Julie Brown who resigned last week amid an investigation into an alleged misappropriation of public funds.
Devon Schmidt, the city’s grants contract manager, will lead about 30 employees within the finance department, said Amber Blake, interim city manager.
The finance director typically leads the city’s budgeting process, which is underway for 2020. Blake said the budgeting process has not been set back by Brown’s resignation and city staff will compile the budget for the coming year.
Blake declined to provide further details about the investigation into the alleged misappropriation of public funds, including how long the misappropriation might have been going on and how long the investigation might take.
“I can’t comment on any specifics related to the investigation,” she said.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation began looking into the misappropriation of funds starting Oct. 15, said Susan Medina, a spokeswoman for the bureau.
CBI agents will be reviewing city financials and conducting interviews as part of the investigation, she said.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the evidence will be presented to the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which will decide whether to file charges, she said.
CBI declined to confirm whether Brown is under investigation in connection with the misappropriation of funds.
Blake said the city plans to hire an executive search firm to locate an interim finance director.
She said she expects the firm will find a replacement with “experience and the specific criteria we are looking for in a quick fashion.”
Once an interim finance director is hired, the city will start a standard hiring process to find a permanent finance director, Blake said.