Casper City Councilman Todd Murphy announced his resignation Wednesday after only four months in office, citing personal reasons.
Murphy will officially leave the council Monday.
“The reasons will be kept personal and private to mitigate any rumors,” Murphy wrote in an email to council members and city staff early Wednesday.
“Please respect my privacy concerning this matter by not speculating,” he added.
Murphy was elected to Council in November to a Ward 2 seat that was previously held by Scott Miller, who dropped out of the campaign a few days before the election.
Murphy was one of the more ideologically conservative members of Council. He had been relatively quiet on the panel since taking office in January.
In early March, Murphy sent an email to his colleagues announcing that he would not be participating in a planned Council “retreat,” at which members discuss goals and priorities for the city.
“I do not have 7-8 hours for this. Should this come up at a work session, I will not participate and will probably leave the meeting.”
In the same email, which was obtained by the Star-Tribune, Murphy said that there was a line between community service and fair compensation for work and that Council duties were taking more time that he initially believed they would.
“The fact of the matter is that we did not know all that was expected of us prior to running in the election,” Murphy wrote.
In an interview Tuesday, Murphy said those concerns were not related to his decision to step down.
“Oh, no, it didn’t play a role,” Murphy said. “It’s the stuff that I’m keeping private and personal. The compensation is fine. You know, it’s whatever it is it is.”
The remaining eight council members are empowered to appoint a replacement for Murphy. The standard practice is for the body to put out a call for applications, hold interviews and then vote.
Mayor Kenyne Humphrey said she was not sure if a replacement could be selected before Council begins budget discussions next month.
“It kind of depends on the availability of potential candidates,” she said. “It would be nice ideally for someone to be there to get that first year experience of the budget.”
Humphrey said she had instructed city staff to begin the process of formally announcing a vacancy and accepting applications for a replacement.
Murphy’s resignation comes at a time of some turmoil on Council.
Following the receipt of a survey conducted by the Fraternal Order of Police that found poor worker satisfaction at the Casper Police Department, Mayor Kenyne Humphrey on Tuesday called for an investigation and councilman Chris Walsh said that city management needed to be investigated in addition to the police department.
Murphy thanked his supporters and the people who helped elect him both within and outside his ward.
“I really appreciate everybody, and it’s a tough decision that I certainly wasn’t looking for,” Murphy said. “But that’s why it’s just real private and personal and I got to do it.”