FARGO – After serving as acting U.S. attorney for the District of North Dakota since 2015, Chris Myers has told the state’s congressional delegation he no longer wants the job.

Myers, a career prosecutor, said in an email to the delegation that he worries that going through with a political nomination would harm his employee benefits.

The office of Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., provided a copy of the email sent Saturday, April 29.

Hoeven confirmed to the Bismarck Tribune on Thursday, April 27, that former U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley told the senator he wanted the job.

Wrigley was U.S. attorney from 2001 to 2009. Among his prominent cases was the death penalty case of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., convicted of abducting and murdering Dru Sjodin in 2003. From 2010 to 2016, he served as lieutenant governor under Gov. Jack Dalrymple and was expected to run for governor himself. He declined to run after his extramarital affair was exposed.

The Forum contacted Wrigley on Wednesday but didn’t hear back from him.

Myers told The Forum he doesn’t have anything more to say other than what’s in the email.

“As you are all aware, I am not a political person so haven't always been certain how to navigate this process, especially during the past week,” he said in his email. “However, I've become increasingly concerned about how this situation may potentially impact the office that I truly care about and have decided that it would be best for all involved if I remove my name from consideration.”

As a court-appointed U.S. attorney, Myers remained a civil service employee who wouldn’t face removal by a future administration, which happened recently when President Donald Trump’s administration demanded the resignations of all top prosecutors appointed by President Barack Obama.

Myers said in his email he preferred to remain a court-appointed U.S. attorney, but understands that would be unique since U.S. attorneys are normally appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

“As I have mentioned to each of you this past week, I regretfully have decided that it would not be in my family's best interests to accept a political nomination at this time in my career as such an appointment would have a significant negative effect on my employee benefits, especially retirement,” he said.

Myers was hired by Wrigley in 2002 and became the top assistant to the U.S. attorney in 2013 under U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon. He took over as U.S. attorney when Purdon resigned in 2015 to enter private practice and was formally appointed by the court in 2016.

As acting U.S. attorney, Myers said in his email, he can’t endorse any nominee but would support whoever is chosen. “If Drew is appointed to the position, I foresee no difficulties in working collaboratively with him and anticipate that the transition will go smoothly,” he said.

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