Natrona County commissioner Steve Schlager has resigned, according to a news release from the Natrona County Clerk's Office.

"'This letter is to inform you of my resignation effective 5:00 pm May 5, 2017,'" Schlager wrote to Commission Chairman John Lawson.

"'I have accepted a position with a company out of state and will be relocating immediately.  It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Natrona County and wish the community prosperity," Schlager wrote.

He did not immediately return a phone call for comment.

Lawson has notified Natrona County Republican Party Chairman Joseph McGinley, of Schlager's resignation, which begins the process to fill the vacancy on the five-member commission. All commissioners -- Lawson, Rob Hendry, Matt Keating and Forrest Chadwick -- are Republicans.

County Clerk Renea Vitto explained what happens next.

McGinley has called a meeting of the party's central committee, which must organize a meeting within the next 15 days of the notice of resignation.

The central committee will meet on May 17, and will select three qualified people to fill the vacancy and send those names to the county commissioners, Vitto said.

The qualifications are being a registered voter and registered Republican at least 18 years old, and live within Natrona County. State law also requires applicants for the position not be adjudicated mentally incompetent and not be a felon, she said.

The county commission then has five days to choose one of those three to fill the vacancy, Vitto said.

Schlager was in his first term as commissioner.

He edged out Todd Murphy by 0.3 percent of the vote, which triggered a recount.

Schlager was a Casper Police officer until about 10 years ago. After he retired from the department, he had his own company, Wyoming Scenic Photography.

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