Controversial Seabrook councilman resigns
Embattled Seabrook City Councilman Tom Diegelman has resigned.
Diegelman confirmed that he resigned about 2 a.m. today after a lengthy closed session in which City Council discussed a potential vote of no confidence for him.
Diegelman, 59, has served on Seabrook's City Council since 2006 and is in the first year of his second term. A divisive figure, he has faced intense political pressure recently and has clashed repeatedly with Mayor Gary Renola.
"I wish Tom good luck and good health," Renola said today.
Seabrook's City Council will have a special meeting at 8 a.m. this Saturday, Sept. 19, to call a special city election for Nov. 3 to fill the remainder of his term.
In the official resignation letter that he provided to the city this afternoon, Diegelman alluded to his disagreements with fellow City Council members and described them as insurmountable and escalating differences of this council over the last year." He also cited his family's concern about his health in his resignation.
Diegelman recently had a cancer scare because of a bump in his left arm. It turned out to be a cyst surrounded by a blood clot that was surgically removed last week. The growth was near an incision scar from his treatment in 2007 for an aggressive form of skin cancer that has since been in remission.
Earlier this month, City Council voted 5-2 to have a resolution of no confidence prepared for Diegelman. The City Council's closed session last night was held to discuss a potential no confidence vote against him later this month or next month and to review e-mails that he had written in the past.
In his resignation letter, Diegelman wrote that his resignation will help the city focus more on its recovery from Hurricane Ike and other issues instead of distracting differences."
I have said it often, being on City Council never was about me, it's about serving the citizens of Seabrook," Diegelman wrote. Now I've shown that in full measure."
But Diegelman may not be done politically in Seabrook, according to his letter. He closed it by writing, It is and always will be an honor to serve the Seabrook citizens. I look forward to doing so again."
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