February 8, 2005
Former Scottsdale Police Chief Doug Bartosh has traded in the big city to be the top law-enforcement officer of a small central Arizona town.
Bartosh, an 11-year Scottsdale police veteran who was fired two years ago, in part, for spurning the results of a critical audit, has been hired as chief of police for the Cottonwood Police Department.
Monday was his first day in the city of about 10,000, located in the Verde Valley.
"After driving around on a Friday afternoon in Scottsdale, this is a pleasure up here. There is a rush hour, but it’s hard to tell exactly when it is," Bartosh said Monday by telephone. "I think I’m really going to like this."
Cottonwood advertised the position about three months ago and then conducted a national search for candidates. Bartosh emerged as the top choice out of five finalists.
"We think he’s well-suited to what we are looking for in a police chief. The people we talked to that worked with him directly in the past had very good things to say," said Cottonwood City Manager Brian Mickelsen. "We understand there are some issues in Scottsdale. I think we know as much as we need to know about that."
Bartosh was fired in January 2003 by City Manager Jan Dolan.
Dolan cited technology shortfalls, poor communication and Bartosh’s "lack of enthusiasm" to make corrections suggested by an independent audit.
Bartosh later filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the city. The suit is pending.
He claimed Dolan violated his First Amendment right to free speech by prohibiting him from speaking to news media, the public or the City Council about the audit.
Bartosh was hired as Scottsdale’s deputy chief in 1992, and served his last five years as chief.
For now, Bartosh will keep his Scottsdale home, where his oldest son has taken over mortgage payments. Bartosh bought property in Cottonwood and will likely relocate there permanently, he said.
"I worked with some of the best people in the profession in Scottsdale and will always have fond memories," he said. "It was just how I departed, and obviously that is a topic that is still in litigation so I’m not going to go into detail about that."