A top member of the Massachusetts Republican party is stepping down over what he called a "scurrilous and demeaning" post about him.
MassGOP Vice Chair Tom Mountain announced the move in an email to Republican State Committee, but fell short of naming the website the post appeared on, the Boston Globe reported.
“For the good of our Party, I will be stepping down as MassGOP Vice Chair immediately to focus on an effort to clear my name,” Mountain wrote in the e-mail, obtained by the Globe. “During the past few months of turmoil at the MassGOP, I’ve consistently said that incapable officers should step aside. Regardless of the truth about what happened, this blog post, and the conspiracy behind it, has rendered me incapable of serving as an effective officer of the MassGOP.”
Mountain said in his resignation letter that he believes he is "the victim of a crime'' and has retained legal counsel.
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"It has been my honor to serve as MassGOP Vice Chair,'' he wrote in his resignation letter. "I hope others follow this example by ALWAYS doing what's right for our Party even when those decisions require personal sacrifice.''
The email comes after the blog Turtleboy Sports published a post with the headline: “Vice Chairman Of Mass GOP Leaves Tons Of Creepy Comments For Women On Facebook Including Underage Girls, Claims He Was Hacked.”
State party chairman Jim Lyons issued a statement Monday night saying Mountain's resignation had been unanimously accepted by the state GOP.
"Earlier tonight, the Massachusetts Republican Party Executive Committee voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Tom Mountain as Republican State Committee Vice Chairman," Lyons said. "The focus of our party remains on supporting the fight for working families and Massachusetts residents who are deeply concerned about rising fuel costs, public safety, inflation, and employment opportunities."
The move also comes amid turmoil in the Massachusetts Republican party after Gov. Charlie Baker and other prominent state Republicans publicly rebuked a state committee member who criticized a gay colleague for adopting kids.
Mountain last month had this message for Debbie Martell, the Republican state committeewoman who circulated emails saying the choice of gay Republican congressional candidate Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette and his husband to adopt sickened her: "I told her you must resign, it's over, goodbye."
Mountain added, "What she did was wrong. It was immoral. We don't have any room in the party for such things. And I'm not going to put up with it."
Mountain's actions stand in contrast to Lyons, who Sossa-Paquette said responded to his pleas to stop the committeewoman's emails by saying he did not want get involved.
Monday night, Lyons said the Massachusetts Republican Party "remains committed to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, the rule of law, and proudly recognizes that our party's roots are founded in individual freedom regardless of race, religion, gender, or zip code."
The Associated Press contributed to this report