Michigan State Treasurer Andy Dillon, shown July 19, 2013, announced Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, that he will resign. / Eric Seals/Detroit Free Press
LANSING (Detroit Free Press) -- Michigan Treasurer Andy Dillon is resigning, he announced today, saying recent controversy over his divorce is too distracting for him to stay in office.
He said he has submitted his resignation to Gov. Rick Snyder but will stay on until Nov. 1 to assist with the transition to his successor, who has not been announced.
Snyder issued a statement saying he accepts the resignation with "regret but understanding."
Dillon has been surrounded by controversy in recent months after his ex-wife alleged he assaulted her over the summer during a struggle over a cell phone, his gubernatorial campaign committee and other committees were wracked with accounting problems, and a friend acknowledged Dillon confronted a drinking problem at the end of last year.
The resignation announcement comes one day after Dillon testified under oath in the Detroit bankruptcy case and gave no hint of his plans, talking favorably about the "fascinating job" he holds.
Dillon, a former Democratic House speaker who joined the Republican administration of Gov. Rick Snyder after losing the Democratic nomination for governor, has been treasurer since 2011.
When he took the job, "even though I had spent six years in Lansing I didn't fully appreciate the role of the treasurer for the state and so fascinating (a) job and (a) fascinating time to have it," Dillon testified Thursday, according to a draft deposition transcript obtained by the Free Press.
In his statement today, Dillon said, "It is with mixed emotions that I announce I have tendered my resignation."
"It has become clear to me as it likely is to most that it is unfair to my family and the residents of Michigan, to allow issues related to my recent divorce and the unfortunate acrimony associated with it to be a continued source of media attention and scrutiny."
The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office decided not to press charges after the July assault allegation, saying there was insufficient evidence. Dillon and his wife divorced in March.
Dillon's father John, a district court judge in Redford, died in September.
Dillon's ex-wife, Carol Owens-Dillon, declined comment.
Her Detroit attorney, Kenneth Essad, said "it is unfortunate Mr. Dillon cited his divorce proceedings as the reason he resigned" and "There may be other reasons as well."
"We made every reasonable attempt to resolve the issues currently before the court but our efforts were unsuccessful," said Essad, who is trying to get the divorce settlement reopened.
Dillon's statement said "my family deserves privacy and our residents deserve to know their state treasurer is not distracted by such issues and events. For these personal and professional reasons, I have determined it is in the best interests of all that I resign," he said.
"I am deeply committed to Gov. Snyder and have tremendous respect for him and his unbending commitment to the people of Michigan. I want to thank the Governor for the opportunity to serve as treasurer and will work closely with his office to ensure a smooth transition to my successor.
"I have always considered it a privilege and honor to work on behalf of all Michigan residents and will look back fondly on my years of service in Lansing."
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His gubernatorial campaign committee has still not been dissolved by the Secretary of State, despite efforts by Dillon's campaign treasurer to correct the reporting problems.
Snyder said Dillon "has been instrumental in many of the comprehensive reforms that are contributing to Michigan's comeback."
"Andy has worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Michigan, and we're a stronger state because of his dedication, expertise and leadership," Snyder said.
"Andy has demonstrated time and again that he was the right person at the right time to serve as treasurer. I respect his decision to seek new opportunities and offer my sincere gratitude for his years of selfless service to our state."
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