Deputy Secretary of State Rich Vial has resigned his position.
Vial submitted his resignation to Secretary of State Bev Clarno on Jan. 6 with an effective date of Jan. 10.
In the letter, Vial wrote that he resigned with "very mixed emotion," was grateful for the opportunity and would miss working in the Secretary of State's office.
Previously, Vial served one term as a Republican state representative for a district including portions of Clackamas and Washington counties. Last year, Secretary of State Bev Clarno picked him to the office's number two post after she was appointed to fill out the term of the late Dennis Richardson.
In his letter, Vial hinted at further public service.
"I feel more inspired than ever to make sure that I continue to search for those places that my services might be most effective," he wrote. "In this moment of extreme partisanship, I desire not only to see better government, but perhaps to help bring a more positive tone to the conversations necessary to achieve that goal. I am committed to being ready to serve when the opportunity arises."
Vial has been floated as a possible Republican candidate for secretary of state, a position that will be up for grabs next year and Democrats are intent on retaking. "I haven't ruled out any opportunity that might present itself as a place that I can serve," said Vial when asked if he would run for the office.
Vial said that he didn't know what he was going to do next but would look for his "next opportunity to serve." In the meantime, he said he still has his law license and a position with his former law firm, Vial, Fotheringham, LLP.
His legal work drew scrutiny late last year when the Oregonian/Oregonlive reported that while serving as deputy secretary he continued his legal work, representing clients with cases pending before state agencies he had the power to have audited.
When asked if he was asked to resign, Vial responded that his resignation letter speaks for itself.
Clarno could not be reached for comment but praised Vial in the press release.
"Deputy Vial has so much to offer government," said Clarno in the press release. "His thoughtfulness, leadership, and collaborative spirit make him an exemplary public servant, and I have greatly appreciated his advice and assistance during my time as secretary of state."
The press release stated that Andrea Chiapella, who serves as the office's legislative director, will serve the office's media contact, a role previously handled by Vial.
According to Chiapella, Vial will not receive severance pay and was paid a salary of $15,388 a month.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.