North Dakota Tax Commissioner Resigns After Hotel Incident | National policy

BISMARCK, ND (AP) – North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger on Tuesday announced that he would resign, a day after being jailed after allegedly passing out while intoxicated in a bedroom in hotel that was not his.

In an email to Governor Doug Burgum obtained by The Associated Press, Rauschenberger, who has a history of alcohol problems, said: “My recovery must be my main goal. I do not believe that I can fully perform all the duties of the position I am in while focusing on recovery.

In a statement, Burgum thanked Rauschenberger for his services and said he would appoint someone for the remainder of Rauschenberger’s term, which expires at the end of next year.

“We are deeply grateful to Ryan for his dedicated and effective service to the citizens of North Dakota for over 13 years, and the First Lady and I applaud him for having the courage to take the necessary steps to prioritize his recovery, his health and well-being. -be, ”said Burgum.

Rauschenberger, 38, said his resignation would be effective Jan.3 and his official resignation letter would be forthcoming.

“I hope this will give you enough time to find and appoint a successor,” Rauschenberger said of the date of his resignation.

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Police say Rauschenberger was waiting to check in to a clean room at a Bismarck hotel when he entered one that had not been cleaned. He closed the door and refused to answer the cleaning staff. Police were called and Constable Brandon Rosen said in his report that he found Ryan passed out and face down on the bed. He said Rauschenberger was “drunk beyond the point of being able to take care of himself” and was brought in for detox at 1.31pm.

Rauschenberger, who has not been arrested, did not immediately respond to a message left on his cell phone on Tuesday.

Rauschenberger, a Republican, has been a tax commissioner for seven years. His drinking problems first surfaced in 2014 when he took leave to complete a 20-day hospital treatment program in Minnesota. This happened after he loaned his vehicle to a man he met while undergoing drug treatment and the man ran over him while driving while intoxicated .

Rauschenberger was arrested for driving while intoxicated in September 2017, when a preliminary breathalyzer showed his blood alcohol level to be more than double the legal limit for driving. As part of his guilty plea, he completed a recommended outpatient treatment program in March 2018.

Court documents show that Rauschenberger pleaded guilty three months ago in Bismarck City Court to driving with an open container of alcohol in his vehicle and paid a fine of $ 100. The police quote shows that he was arrested early on August 1.

A police report filed by Officer Joseph Gebhardt indicated that Rauschenberger had passed out while driving his car in downtown Bismarck, the Bismarck Tribune reported. Gebhardt said he could not find a key on either Rauschenberger or in the vehicle, but he found two open containers.

“Ryan’s level of intoxication posed a threat to his own safety,” Gebhardt wrote. “I then transported him to Sanford where he was placed in rehab.”

Rauschenberger was appointed tax commissioner at the end of 2013 to fill a vacant post following a resignation. He won a full term in 2014, defeating Democrat Jason Astrup, and was re-elected in 2018, defeating Democrat Kylie Oversen.

Deputy Tax Commissioner Sandy McMerty heads the office in Rauschenberger’s absence, the agency said.

The state tax office has a two-year budget of $ 64.4 million and is authorized for 118 full-time employees. The annual salary of the tax commissioner is $ 121,814.

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