Unfug, Mesa County administrator, resigns suddenly

Chantal Unfug, who was hired as Mesa County administrator in July 2011, resigned less than two weeks after two new commissioners were sworn in.

Mesa County Administrator Chantal Unfug resigned Tuesday, a surprise announcement that current commissioners declined to discuss in detail but one that caught a former commissioner off-guard.

Commissioners issued a two-sentence statement late Tuesday afternoon indicating they and Unfug had reached a “mutual agreement” on her resignation. They thanked her for “her leadership and wish her well in future endeavors.”

Unfug couldn’t be reached for comment.

Commissioner Steve Acquafresca said Unfug’s resignation was effectively immediately. Both he and Commissioner Rose Pugliese declined to comment on the reasons for Unfug’s resignation, saying it was a personnel manner. Acquafresca did say the factors that led up to Unfug’s resignation were a “recent development.”

“Change is always hard, but we’re accepting of that change,” he said. “I guess the good news is we have some really good folks in our organization who are prepared to pick up the pace, pick up the workload.”

Internal Services Director Tom Fisher will serve as the interim county administrator. Acquafresca said he expects the county to search for and hire a permanent administrator.

“I think as a board we’re trying to figure out what direction we want to be going,” Pugliese said. “It’s a conversation the three of us are going to have in the next week or so. We’ve had those conversations, but not in depth.”

Unfug’s resignation comes a little more than a week after new commissioners John Justman and Pugliese were sworn in. They replaced term-limited commissioners Craig Meis and Janet Rowland.

Meis said he’s surprised Unfug is out of a job, especially given how new the board is. But he said the job is a challenging one.

“You’ve got three bosses — three bosses that, quite frankly, can go three different directions,” he said. “I wouldn’t wish that on too many people.”

Meis responded “not really” when asked if, as far as he knew, Unfug seemed dissatisfied in her job or was interested in another position.

Unfug was hired in July 2011. She previously served as the manager of the Denver Parks and Recreation Department.

Unfug’s original employment contract stipulated that she would receive six months’ severance pay should commissioners terminate her employment without providing her six months’ written notice. She, however, would not receive severance pay if she voluntarily resigned her position or if the board terminated her employment because of “some act or omission ... which renders her, in the Board’s sole opinion, unable to continue to perform under this agreement.”


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