Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Thielman has announced his resignation as superintendent of the Alsea School District at an emergency meeting of the school board in western Oregon.

The Gazette-Times reports the superintendent made waves in January when he announced that at his direction, the school board had passed a resolution to return “local control” to the board and make indoor masking optional during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In this Aug. 20, 2021, file photo, former Alsea School District Superintendent Marc Thielman poses for a portrait on the school campus in Alsea, Ore. Thielman has resigned from his role as an educator to focus on seeking the Republican nomination to be Oregon's next governor.

In this Aug. 20, 2021, file photo, former Alsea School District Superintendent Marc Thielman poses for a portrait on the school campus in Alsea, Ore. Thielman has resigned from his role as an educator to focus on seeking the Republican nomination to be Oregon's next governor.

Gillian Flaccus / AP

“I can’t stand by any longer and be distracted with political jockeying by those who live their lives in fear and try to force obedience via threat and harm to my standing and the good reputation of the Alsea School District and Board,” Thielman told school board members on Tuesday, reading from his letter of resignation.

The resignation comes a week after three formal complaints were filed against him, alleging a hostile work environment, illegal firing practices and disregard for any viewpoint that is not his own.

The emergency meeting was scheduled so the board could hire a third-party investigator to look into the complaints, which they voted to do before Thielman announced his resignation.

There was no indication who would serve as interim-superintendent until a permanent replacement can be hired by the district.

Thielman said he will continue to focus on his run for Oregon governor.

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