In a surprise announcement, Casper City Council member Craig Hedquist tendered his resignation late Monday afternoon.

"After careful consideration and consulting will my family, I have decided it is in the best interest for all involved that I respectfully resign my position on the Casper City Council," he wrote in an email.

"My resignation is effective upon the transmission of this email. I want to thank the citizens of Casper for both electing me and supporting me during my time on council. Thank you, Craig P. Hedquist"

The resignation ends a nearly three-year series of disputes among Hedquist, other council members, some city staff members, and City Manager John Patterson who announced his own resignation in May.

Hedquist sued Patterson in federal court in early 2014 over alleged retaliation against him for freely speaking about city management after his election in November 2012. Hedquist wants Patterson to pay for his legal counsel and punitive damages, if any.

U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson scheduled the trial to begin Jan. 19, 2016.

But Hedquist and Patterson, through their attorneys, agreed in May to keep settlement talks private.

Other disputes included alleged conflicts of interest by Hedquist and his construction company’s contracts with the city, last fall's election campaign of council candidates resolving to heal differences among members, a citizen’s complaint filed against Patterson about city employees’ work on a noncity resident’s pond, and the federal lawsuit.

Neither Hedquist, Mayor Charlie Powell nor Vice Mayor Daniel Sandoval could be reached for immediate comment.

Council member Shawn Johnson, who like Hedquist represents Ward II, said the resignation came as a surprise.

Johnson wished him well.

"I just wish Craig good luck," he said. "Hopefully council can move forward and get back to work."

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