CALDWELL -- Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak is resigning from office.

Bujak submitted a written resignation to the Board of County Commissioners Thursday, and that resignation was accepted.

County Clerk Bill Hurst said said Bujak stills owes the county $288,000.

It is known that Bujak had been struggling to pay personal debts such as vehicle and credit card debts.

In 2009, Bujak entered into an annual contract worthnearly $600,000 with the city of Nampa that would pay him an additional sum of money to handle Nampa's misdemeanor cases.

As prosecutor, Bujak earned $101,608, but with the new contract, County Commissioner Kathy Alder said he hoped to earn up to an additional $50,000.

Hurst said Bujak used some of the contract money to give raises tohis staff. He says county commissioners recently sent Bujak asking for around $359,000. Bujak submitted a personal check for $71,000 Wednesday, the last day of the fiscal year. The balance owed to the county is $288,000.

Hurst and the county treasurer raised concerns about the contract last year when it first came up for discussion. He does not believe the commissioners should have approved the deal which gave Bujak control over those funds.

On Sept. 30, Bujack wrote the following resignation letter to the CanyonCounty commissioners:

It is with a heavy heart that Itender my resignation as the CanyonCounty Prosecutor, effective immediately. I take this step because issues in my personal life have become a significant distraction to my ability to perform the duties of prosecuting attorney andI have determined that at this time I an unable to meet the high standards that Ihave come to expect from my staff. I am proud to have served as theCanyonCountyProsecutor and I believe the quality of prosecution and the direction the office is heading is better than it ever has been.

Canyon County Commissioner David Ferdinand gave a little more insight as to the reason behind the resignation.

Hesays because Bujak did not meet his end of the contract, he resigned his position to remove himself from the situation.

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tim Fleming will take over as interim county prosecutor.

Fleming says he has already contacted Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson to look into Bujak's actions.

He will then decide if what has happened is criminal, civil, or just a matter of collections.

Ferdinand says Bujak has said he will pay the $288,000 back.

The Canyon County Republican Central Committee will now nominate three candidates for consideration as the next prosecutor. The selection process will take about 30 days.

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