Bingham County Sheriff submits letter of resignationPublished at | Updated at
BLACKFOOT — Embattled Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland is resigning from his position effective Aug. 1.
In a resignation letter sent to EastIdahoNews.com from Dennis P. Wilkinson, Rowland’s new attorney, the sheriff said he’s become “a distraction” and the county “must press forward with the work at hand, and I do not want to impede that path.”
“Recent events have, at a minimum, focused on me as an individual. Bingham County must focus on the mission and be dedicated to the business of protecting and serving its citizens,” Rowland wrote.
Rowland was charged with felonies for aggravated assault and aggravated battery, as well as a misdemeanor for exhibition of a weapon, following an incident on Nov. 9. A youth group from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints left a “thankful turkey” on his front door. He allegedly pointed a gun at a car carrying the seven girls and their leader, who said the sheriff pulled her hair and held a gun to her head.
READ: Court documents charging local sheriff with felonies
The sheriff pleaded not guilty to all charges and remained on the job, despite numerous leaders and others calling for his resignation.
Rowland’s trial was scheduled to start Monday but has been delayed after Justin Olesen, his former attorney, filed a motion for withdrawal citing a “breakdown in communication between counsel and defendant.” Wilkinson is now representing the sheriff.
Wilkinson explained to EastIdahoNews.com that the resignation letter from Rowland is not part of a plea deal.
“He recognizes that ordered justice in the county is important and he did not want to distract from that,” said Wilkinson in an email to EastIdahoNews.com. “We have a scheduling conference set for tomorrow (Tuesday) to determine a new trial date.”
Rowland has worked in law enforcement for 36 years. In his resignation letter, he wrote about the “incredible honor” it’s been to work with other professionals across the state.
“The men and women that serve Bingham County in this capacity are singularly dedicated to the health, safety, and
welfare of all its citizens,” he said. “I will miss the opportunity to be of continued service.”
Read Rowland’s entire letter here: