Pete Orput has stepped down as the state prosecutors’ representative on the Sentencing Guidelines Commission, citing a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.
Orput, the Washington County Attorney since 2011, told commissioners last week that he is committed to serving out his current term as county prosecutor.
He told commissioners that his doctor instructed him to “cut out as many things as I can,” which is why he chose to leave the commission after four years.
“The problem with Parkinson’s is it doesn’t affect my thinking, but it does affect my physical being,” Orput said in an interview Friday. “That can be very distracting at times. My doctor said that I should find ways to simplify my life and I am working on it.”
Orput would not say if he will run for reelection in 2022.
Before he was county attorney, Orput was an assistant Hennepin County attorney, working in that office’s violent crime section. He also is the former general counsel for the state Department of Corrections and the one-time head of the Minnesota Attorney General’s public protection section.
Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Orput to the Sentencing Guidelines Commission in 2016. Gov. Tim Walz reappointed him in 2019.
“I am truly disappointed that he’s leaving,” said Kelly Mitchell, the commission’s chair. “I’ve always enjoyed working with Pete Orput. I really think he is one of the visionary prosecutors in our state.”
It is expected that Walz will appoint Wadena County Attorney Kyra Ladd to replace Orput. Mitchell said Ladd has been formally recommended to the post by the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association. The governor normally follows that recommendation.
“I am looking forward to meeting the new representative and moving forward with her,” Mitchell said.
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