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Rep. Edwin Propst resigns

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HOUSE Minority Leader Edwin Propst on Monday submitted his letter of resignation to Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao.

Propst said his official last day will be Thursday, Oct. 1, the first day of Fiscal Year 2021.

“For the past six years, I have had the greatest honor and privilege of serving our beloved Precinct One and Commonwealth,” he said in his letter.

“I have been fully invested and committed as a representative and public servant leader, often putting the needs of the public before the needs of my family and myself.”

He said  the work that the House does in helping others, especially the most vulnerable families in need, has consistently been his main focus when it comes to legislation and community volunteerism.

“After every typhoon or disaster, my chief of staff Vince Camacho and our community workers and I committed ourselves to joining other volunteers in assisting families throughout our Precinct and beyond,” he said.

But he said his job can also be extremely stressful, and added that the attacks and cyberbullying seem to only worsen with each passing day.

“It can break a person down emotionally, mentally, and physically. Everyone has their limits, and I feel I have reached mine,” he said.

After a long discussion with his wife, their children, and some of his close family members and friends, Propst said he decided to resign from office.

“To our beloved Precinct One family, thank you for giving me the honor to serve you over the course of three terms. I love you all and thank you for so kindly welcoming us into your homes and your hearts,” he said.

Propst added that he is forever indebted to his staff members Vince Camacho and Sal Limes, and the other House minority bloc members “who have done a magnificent job in serving their people.”

He added, “I am grateful for the strong friendships I have made with all of my colleagues in the House and Senate and their staff, and the hardworking, always dependable Legislative Bureau staff.”

No one among the other lawmakers approached by Variety wanted to comment on Propst’s resignation.

One of the top vote-getters in Precinct 1, Propst was first elected to the House in 2014 as an independent candidate and was re-elected in 2016 and 2018. This year he joined the NMI Democratic Party and was its leading candidate for reelection in Precinct 1.

Early in September, however, private citizen Irene Holl urged the House of Representatives to look into “longstanding and very serious allegations of sexual misconduct against [Propst] while he was a teacher at Marianas High School and also at Northern Marianas College.”

In the past two weeks, Variety learned that two complaints against Propst have been filed with the Department of Public Safety.

In an earlier interview, Propst said he was deeply saddened that he and his family were being subjected to “this egregious level of defamation and dirty politics.”

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