David Elvig, who was convicted last week on felony charges of embezzling money earmarked for employee benefits at his former business, has resigned from the Ramsey City Council.

In his letter of resignation, Elvig, 53, who was first elected in 2002, said he believed it was in the city’s best interest for him to step down from the council and from his duties with the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

The Ramsey city charter says council members convicted of felonies must vacate office. But Elvig might have remained on the council depending on the severity of the sentence he receives on June 17.

The case did not involve his work for the city.

It has been “important for me to separate my personal life from that of a Ramsey city council member,” Elvig said in his letter. “I don’t want my personal issues to become a distraction for my colleagues.”

Elvig is the founder and president of E-Street Makers Inc. of Anoka, a high-end custom furniture and cabinetmaker. His convictions on two counts of felony theft came after Elvig was accused of embezzling $19,596.83 intended for employees’ 401(k) and group health and dental plans, from April 23, 2009, to Jan. 4, 2010. The charges said he used plan contributions to pay business expenses.

His business license was revoked in 2011 over unpaid sales taxes, although he told the Star Tribune Wednesday that the company closed its doors in December 2009. The Minnesota Department of Revenue says Elvig owes $104,005.47 in unpaid sales tax. That issue was not connected to his trial.

Ramsey Mayor Sarah Strommen said that she thanked Elvig for his service to the city and “appreciated what he did in stepping down.” At the city’s May 7 council meeting, the vacancy and plans for a special election will officially be announced, Strommen said.

Elvig could receive a sentence associated with a gross misdemeanor and not a felony, which would have allowed him to remain on the council. He said Wednesday that was not a consideration.

“I need to do what’s best for the city and the citizens,” he said.