NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York’s Strongest are losing their longtime leader.

Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty will resign at the end of the month, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office confirmed Friday.

Doherty is a long-time veteran of the Department of Sanitation, and has served as its Commissioner since 2002.

“I extend my deepest gratitude to Commissioner Doherty – on behalf of all New Yorkers – for his decades of service at the Department of Sanitation. He has exhibited leadership, competency and tenacity for New York City in the most challenging times. He has never failed to persevere in the most trying situations,” de Blasio said in a statement. “He has always delivered for New Yorkers – when they needed it the most. 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. Through his experience and skill at what he does, he shows us – every day – that New Yorkers never avert their eyes to adversity. And that’s in large part because of leaders like John.”

De Blasio recently criticized Department of Sanitation response to some of the heavy storms that have dogged New York City this winter. Questions were raised about snow removal in Staten Island and more. Some raised questions about possible political implications of areas that went unplowed.

Doherty first served as Sanitation Commissioner from 1994 to 1998. He started out as a sanitation worker in 1960, and went on to hold numerous key positions within the agency before becoming its leader.

Doherty’s last day will be March 28.

You may also be interested in these stories: 

Watch & Listen LIVE