Commerce Director resigns after sending 'unacceptable' e-mail to staff

Oct 1, 2018

North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Jay Schuler has resigned, after sending out what was termed an “unacceptable” e-mail.

The announcement came Monday from the Governor’s office.

Sources in the Department of Commerce say Schuler sent out an e-mail, with attachment, from his state e-mail address. It went to all Commerce employees, and it dealt with the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court appointment.  Some employees took the matter to the state’s Human Resources Management Services office.

In a statement, Schuler called it an “error in judgment for me to send out an e-mail with my personal thoughts and opinions to our Commerce team, especially on such a sensitive topic.”

Governor Burgum said in his own statement: “Jay has apologized for sending to staff an e-mail that was unacceptable in official communications with team members.”

Deputy Commissioner Shawn Kessel  has been named interim commissioner.