From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 16 - July 14, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Graham to resign from office

by Janet Montgomery

Sublette County Attorney Van Graham will be stepping down from his elected role when he submits a resignation to the Sublette County Commissioners during the first part of August, to take effect Sept. 1.

"We feel bad about it, but there is no way I can pass this up," Graham said Friday,

Graham said he had planned all along to retire and resume teaching onsite at the North Carolina University, for which he has been teaching as an adjunct professor since 2002.

"But the situation now, is that I've got to do that this fall or it won't be available to me," he said. "I simply cannot afford to pass that up."

Graham will be accepting the position of director of undergraduate business studies at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C.

Graham came to Pinedale in 1985 with his family, partnering with Gerald Mason and serving from 1987 to 1994 as the deputy county attorney under then-County Attorney John Crow. When his wife Martha became ill, the family moved to Texas with Graham resigning from the county position in November of 1994.

Graham said that after the move to Texas, people from Pinedale continued to send work his way.

"People allowed me to continue to work for them the whole time," he said, adding that it would have been financially difficult if he had not had that work.

"I owe a great debt to the people here for their kindness to me," he said.

Martha passed away in January of 1996 while they were living in Texas, where Graham stayed and eventually remarried in February of 1997.

That spring Van and his wife Pat moved back to Pinedale.

The Grahams later moved to Boiling Springs, N.C., where Van taught from 1999 to 2002, while Pat worked in the dean's office.

When the Grahams returned to Pinedale in 2002 and Van ran for the county attorney's office, he continued to hold his teaching position, working as an adjunct professor.

Graham said that while the harsh winters of Pinedale won't be missed, the people and his elected office will be.

"I'll miss working in this office," Graham said. "It has been a very positive experience."

He said that while it could be difficult at times, the county attorney role gave him "a chance to try to help people when they are in difficult circumstances."

Graham said that while he and Pat will be in the process of moving, he would stay linked to the office while he is transitioning to North Carolina.

"I'll stay in charge of the office through August," he said. Although Graham added that he anticipated the commissioners would appoint a successor to the office at their Aug. 16 meeting.

As with the Sublette County Sheriff's appointment, the county commissioners will have to declare a vacancy and notify the Republican Central Committee, which will meet to construct a list of three names from which the commissioners will appoint a new county attorney.

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