BOISE, Idaho — Months after elected officials and community members called for his resignation, Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland announced Monday he is stepping down from his position, according to a resignation letter sent out from his newly appointed attorney.
Sheriff Rowland's last day will be August 1, according to the resignation letter.
Sheriff Rowland is facing felony charges for aggravated battery and assault, along with a misdemeanor for exhibiting a deadly weapon. The charges follow an incident involving the sheriff and a church youth group in November of 2021.
A group of girls knocked on the sheriff's door while leaving a Thanksgiving thank you note on November 9. Investigators say Rowland allegedly pulled a gun on a couple of the girls and their youth group leader, and then dragged the leader out of her car by her hair. He then threatened to shoot her while holding a gun to her head.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the seven girls, ages 12 to 16, were delivering paper "thankful turkeys" to people around the neighborhood as part of a youth group activity.
When police interviewed Rowland after the incident, he stated he was on edge that night because of past experiences with "drunk Indians" from the nearby reservation.
"I have been doing this job for 36 years. I've had drunk Indians drive down my cul-de-sac. I've had drunk Indians come to my door," Rowland said. "I live just off the reservation, we have a lot of reservation people around us who are not good people."
In Rowland's resignation letter sent to KTVB by Local News 8 (KIFI) in Idaho Falls, Rowland wrote in part:
"I've become a distraction. Bingham 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."
The announcement comes one day before a court hearing set for July 26 where Rowland is expected to get a new trial date.
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