The Democratic Party of Georgia's top leader has announced that he will resign amid growing concerns about his recent legal battles.
Mike Berlon, faced with a likely vote of no confidence at an upcoming party meeting, said in a statement today that he'd help oversee a transition in the coming days.
"My goal is, and always has been, to unify Georgia Democrats," Berlon said in a statement. "We have an important U.S. Senate race in 2014, and our focus should be on winning that seat and others."
Concerns over the Loganville lawyer's effectiveness as a party chairman arose during the past two weeks after the Georgia Supreme Court issued a legal reprimand for two ethics violations, which stemmed from what he called a minor disagreement with a former client.
Last week, he told CL that he was "surprised" by the reaction and said that the court's decision would not affect his role with the Georgia Democrats. In a separate issue, however, his license to practice law had recently been suspended.
As Democratic leaders gear up to announce a Democratic Senate candidate, many have questioned whether his latest string of troubles would hurt their chances to win the 2014 race. Former party chairman David Worley publicly criticized Berlon's leadership, while Mayor Kasim Reed said that the chairman "owes it to the party to move on."
"I wish him very well and don't have anything negative to say about his service," Reed told the AJC. "But I do know what it takes to run a complex organization. And in an organization you need leadership. It is time to close this chapter and move forward."
Citing a "medical evaluation for significant chest pain and exhaustion," Berlon said he wouldn't address the media in the coming days. He added that he would discuss his resignation next week.
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