your-news image
Bob Halvorson Jr., who was appointed chairman of the Washington State Potato Commission July 1, resigned his position following his July 5 arrest on assault charges.

Ted Tschirky, first vice chairman of the commission, has assumed the chairmanship.

"The commission has been in touch with Bob and has accepted his resignation," Karen Bonaudi, assistant executive director of the commission, told The Produce News Aug. 4.

According to Ms. Bonaudi, Mr. Halvorson was arrested following an altercation with a family member over the July 4 holiday weekend. Ms. Bonaudi said the family member suffered a broken collarbone and was taken to a hospital emergency room because he was under treatment for pneumonia. He was subsequently released and is home.

Mr. Halvorson was arraigned July 6 in Yakima Superior Court. A charge of fourth-degree assault was dropped. He was charged with second-degree assault and is due back in court at the end of September.

Mr. Halvorson, a resident of Toppenish, WA, has served on the commission since 2002.

Although he stepped down as chairman, he will remain a member of the board and complete his current term, which ends on June 30, 2010. "We appreciate his contributions as a commissioner and look forward to his ongoing involvement with the board and the industry," Ms. Bonaudi said.