HOWARD COUNTY – Stephen M. Murrell has resigned as the Howard County Prosecuting Attorney. His resignation was submitted toward the end of January.
“To clarify, there is no connection between the recent Coroner’s Inquest here in Howard County, and my resignation. The two are completely unrelated. I submitted my resignation to the Governor’s Office on January 26, 2017,” Murrell stated.
Murrell sent a formal resignation letter to Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.
“I am writing you to notify you of my formal resignation as Prosecuting Attorney for Howard County, Missouri. My last day as Howard Prosecuting Attorney will be February 17, 2017.
This has not been an easy decision. I am thankful for the community support I have received as Prosecuting Attorney. I am thankful for the opportunity to work closely with law enforcement to make our communities safer, and to protect victims. Public service is very important to me. However, my foremost responsibility is to my family. I simply cannot financially afford to continue as the Howard County Prosecuting Attorney. Many elected Prosecuting Attorneys in rural counties are considered “part time” by Missouri Statute, and there is an assumption that the attorney elected will have time to supplement the part-time salary with private work. However, in my experience, and that of many others, it is not a part-time job, and cannot be performed ethically on a part-time basis. There is little time left for private practice. A different system needs to be implemented to better protect rural communities. The prosecutor is an administrator of justice, an advocate, and an officer of the court. This cannot be performed part time.
Please contact me if I may be of any assistance to your office in finding a replacement,” Murrell’s letter stated.