After a two-week absence from office New Jersey's mayor,Robert Levy, resigned Wednesday. During this period mayor sought help at a clinic known for treatment of substance abuse and mental health issues.
Mayor resignation is effective immediately, attorney Edwin Jacobs said.
"Mr. Levy has concluded that public confidence is so eroded by these circumstances that the only responsible action is to step down," Jacobs said. "He does so with great regret and with apologies to his supporters, to the people of Atlantic City, and to his family and friends."
City officials last heard from Levy on Sept. 26, when he called in sick, climbed into his city-issued Dodge Durango and seemingly vanished. His aides would only say that he was hospitalized somewhere, and would not disclose his condition.
Last fall, The Press of Atlantic City reported that the Vietnam veteran's claims that he was a member of the Green Berets were untrue. He apologized, but federal authorities have been looking into whether the 64-year-old Levy made that claim to increase his veteran's benefit payments. Jacobs said the mayor was in discussions with the U.S. Attorney's Office about resolving the investigation.
Details about the mayor's whereabouts began emerging Tuesday, when Jacobs met with a judge considering a City Council request to vacate the Levy's office.
Afterward, Jacobs announced that Levy was at home after spending a week at the clinic, but he would not elaborate on why Levy went there.
In a statement Wednesday, Jacobs cited "multiple health problems" as a factor in Levy's resignation, but did not provide further details.
Levy's resignation clears the way for City Council President William "Speedy" Marsh to take over as interim mayor, according to Marsh's lawyer, James Leonard.
Before Levy's resignation, fed-up members of the city council had asked a judge to declare the mayor's office vacant.
Levy's disappearance roiled this casino resort, where four of the eight mayors that preceded him were arrested on corruption charges.