Kohring may delay decision

Lawmaker cites health reasons for postponing planned announcement

Posted: Monday, June 18, 2007

Embattled lawmaker Vic Kohring, who faces federal extortion and bribery charges, said Sunday that health problems might delay his announcement on plans to step down from public office.

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Kohring said a slow recovery from sinus surgery to clear his nasal passages may keep him from giving the news at a Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday as he had previously announced.

"There is going to be a decision, and it's going to be soon," Kohring told The Associated Press. "I just hope it's on (Tuesday). We'll see how my health will be that day."

Kohring, a Wasilla Republican, has called resigning a "serious option," a direction pushed by other lawmakers since shortly after his May 4 arrest.

Kohring said he is favoring that option as the chamber luncheon draws close. He said he is not trying to delay the inevitable, nor is he trying to avoid a public disclosure.

The surgery was performed Thursday and planned long before he promised to make a chamber luncheon appearance, he said. The procedure was done when he and his doctor had compatible schedules, he said.

Kohring said he would prefer to make a public announcement at the chamber's weekly meeting rather than simply issuing a news release. He said he owes a face-to-face disclosure to those who helped elect him and then kept him in office since 1994.

"I need to be as personal about this as I can," Kohring said. "It's the toughest and most challenging time in all my years in office."

Kohring declined to say how long he would remain in office if he decides to resign, but reiterated plans to attend the Legislature's special session to address funding for senior citizens. The session will be held in Anchorage, beginning June 26.

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