Councillor resigns amidst impaired charges

Michael Wirischagin has resigned from Grand Forks City Council amidst charges for impaired driving.

Michael Wirischagin

The City of Grand Forks announced in a press release Monday that Michael Wirischagin has resigned from council and will be leaving his seat effective immediately.

The announcement came a week before Wirischagin is scheduled to appear in Grand Forks court on impaired driving charges related to an incident in Midway in June.

Wirischagin is scheduled to appear in court in Grand Forks on Aug. 18 to face charges of failure or refusal to provide a breath sample, and care or control of a vehicle or vessel while impaired.

The charges are from June 14 in Midway.

The press release from the city stated: Wirischagin is eight months into his third term on council and has made a decision to focus on a career outside of local politics.

“It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you that I will be vacating my seat on council effective immediately, Sunday, Aug. 9, to focus on my career ambitions outside of the council chambers,” Wirischagin said in the press release. “While not an easy decision, it certainly has been one that has been considered even before the previous. My family and I are forever indebted to the City of Grand Forks and its constituents for the three terms on council and for all of your support.”

On behalf of the city and council, Mayor Frank Konrad wished Wirischagin the best in his future endeavours and thanked him for his time on council.

“Councillor Wirischagin has contributed his time and energy into making Grand Forks an excellent community to settle down in and has been instrumental in the promotion of sporting events and activities in the community.”

A by-election is legislatively required and is projected to take place late in 2015 or early 2016.

The city has stated that they were unaware of any charges against Wirischagin.