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Stillwater mayor abruptly resigns from office

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Voters in Stillwater selected a new mayor on Election Day, but the current mayor is stepping down in the months before the new mayor is to be sworn in.

The Stillwater Gazette reported that Mayor Ken Harycki announced he would exit the office, effective immediately.

KARE 11 reports Harycki sent out an email that read: "I am stepping down as mayor and allow the vice mayor to complete the transition to the newly elected council. This will allow me to better focus on personal issues. It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Stillwater."

Eight months ago, Harycki's private accounting business was raided. The Internal Revenue Service, the FBI, and the Department of Health and Human Services conducted an "enforcement action" at Customized Payroll Solutions, a company owned by Harycki. Quoting strict disclosure policies, IRS agents would not expand on what is being alleged or investigated at the company, which specializes in payroll, human resources, and accounting services. At the time, Harycki released a statement that indicated he was "fully cooperating with authorities.

Stillwater council member Ted Kozlowski, elected as the new mayor of Stillwater, will take the oath of office in January. Vice mayor Mike Polehna will fulfill the duties of the office in the interim. Polehna told the Stillwater Gazette he learned of the change in a call from Harycki.

“I was completely surprised when he told me he was stepping down. I thought he was kidding me,” Polehna said.

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