Southern Utah state Rep. Travis Seegmiller has announced he plans to resign from the Utah Legislature this summer.
Seegmiller, R-St. George, and his family plan to move outside the boundaries of his district, meaning he needs to give up the position and withdraw from the current election, House leaders said in a statement.
His resignation takes effect July 1.
"I appreciate Rep. Seegmiller's service and accept his resignation," House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, said in a statement. "I wish Rep. Seegmiller and his family well in their future plans and endeavors."
The representative served since he was appointed in February 2018. The Washington County Republican Party will hold a special election to fill the vacancy left by Seegmiller in coming months.
Seegmiller made headlines last year when he was accused of shooting a doe in a residential area. Seegmiller was charged in October in Washington County Justice Court with unlawful taking of protected wildlife and two counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm, all class B misdemeanors.
In a separate statement provided to KSL.com, Wilson said leaders "monitored the situation closely and let the legal process play out."
"Many members were troubled by the accusations and had discussions about options in the wake of his plea agreement. However, because of Rep. Seegmiller's resignation announced this morning there is no current plan to pursue this further," he said.
Government watchdog group Better Utah said on Twitter the House should have conducted an ethics investigation into the incident and that "leadership should not have been waiting for Seegmiller to hopefully decide on his own to resign."
On Aug. 13, a man identified as Seegmiller was standing near a roadway when he fired from a shotgun that ultimately killed a doe, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokeswoman Faith Heaton Jolley said. While she said Seegmiller did have a valid hunting permit and shot the doe during a legal hunting period for the boundary he was in, she said he did not receive permission from residents in the area to hunt on their private land.
"It's illegal to hunt on private property or to enter private property to harvest an animal without receiving written permission from the landowner previously," she explained, adding it's also illegal to hunt within 600 feet of a house or dwelling.
A resident told St. George News that Seegmiller had said he was out of work and needed deer meat for his family, and he said he had gotten permission from the private property where he retrieved the deer. The homeowner reported the incident to local police, but Seegmiller left the scene with the deer before officers arrived, according to Jolley.
Seegmiller pleaded no contest to the charge of unlawful taking of protected wildlife while trespassing last month on April 8. The other two charges in the cases were dismissed. He was ordered to pay a $400 restitution fine to go to the Help Stop Poaching Fund, according to court documents.
Contributing: Carter Williams