It is understandable that rumors fly after someone who has been around the Capitol 21 years decides to leave.
And it is even more understandable that they fly just after the person unveils a controversial proposal.
So, of course, it was no surprise that those rumors feature Jim Mulder, Association of Minnesota Counties’ executive director, who on Tuesday announced a plan to redesign counties, including allowing counties to collect sales tax and taking over state patrol and highway maintenance duties.
Actually, Mulder said, he thought about staying on an extra year to shepherd the proposal through the Legislature. But in the end, he and his wife decided that he should devote full time to completing his doctorate in public administration.
"There is absolutely no truth to it," he said of the rumor that he was forced out. "I had planned to do this."
In fact, he added, a couple county commissioners "are very angry with me leaving."
During an Ash Wednesday service, Mulder decided how he would explain his resignation: "I’m giving up my job for lent." But his pastor issued a rejoinder: "Don’t blame me for that."