After less than six months on the job, Rick Bornemann has resigned his post as president and chief executive officer of the Ethan Allen Institute, Vermont's free market think tank.
The news was broken to EAI members in the February issue of The Ethan Allen Letter, the group's monthly newsletter.
"On December 31, 2009, Rick Bornemann, our new President and CEO, resigned his position, due to a number of personal issues that he felt would hinder his efforts to advance the Institute's agenda," wrote EAI Board Chairman James Gatti. "We regret that circumstances forced this decision and wish him well in his future endeavors."
Gatti told Seven Days that the board will meet in the coming weeks to decide how best to proceed and hire Bornemann's replacement. He expects that could take as much as a year.
Gatti said Bornemann's departure wasn't a complete surprise to the board. He had informed the board of personal issues that could force him to leave by year's end.
"He told us that he had some personal issues that had to be resolved and he hoped to resolve them by the first of this year or that he would have to resign to deal with them and turned out that things did not break our way," said Gatti. "Rick was forthcoming to us and had given us indications. We knew we were taking a risk, but we felt like Rick was worth it."
Bornemann was hired to replace John McClaughry, who had been hoping to retire this year. With Bornemann's announcement, McClaughry will assume the role of "acting" president.
Bornemann faced some tough scrutiny when he first arrived in Vermont, largely due to his past run-in with the Federal Elections Commission.
Bornemann could not be reached for comment.
** UPDATE **
Seven Days received a call from Rick Bornemann this morning, who had little to add in terms of why he decided to resign his post with the Ethan Allen Institute.
However, Bornemann did clue us in on what he may be doing next.
"My real passion is in campaigning," said Bornemann. "And, what I'm going to do next is look for a good federal campaign to sign onto for the fall."