(UPDATED COVERAGE 2:32 p.m.) The chairman of the Washington State Potato Commission has resigned following his arrest on assault charges.


Bob Halvorson, who became chairman July 1, was arrested July 5 and taken into custody in the Yakima County jail, said Karen Bonaudi, assistant executive director of the Moses Lake-based commission. 


Halvorson, of Toppenish, Wash.-based R&R Halvorson Inc., was released from jail July 6 and charged with second-degree assault, Bonaudi said. According to an article in the online edition of the Columbia Basin Herald newspaper, he pled not guilty to the charge.

Halvorson, who will remain on the commission, told Bonaudi his trial is slated for late September.


Ted Tschirky is the new chairman of the commission, Bonaudi said.


In March, Halvorson was named to the board of the Washington, D.C.-based National Potato Council.