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Lawyer says missing mayor under investigation, has resigned

  • Story Highlights
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey, mayor had been missing for two weeks
  • Mayor Robert Levy was on medical leave, office release says
  • Lawyer: Levy is under investigation over military record, benefits
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- The mayor of Atlantic City, New Jersey, who is the target of a federal investigation into his military disability payments, has resigned after being missing from work for two weeks, his attorney said Wednesday.

Mayor Robert Levy is under federal investigation and is ill, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Edwin Jacobs released a statement saying that Mayor Robert Levy was stepping down because of "multiple health problems" that were "precipitated by a pending federal Department of Veterans Affairs investigation."

Jacobs said Levy was accused of misrepresenting his military service record.

For years, Levy said he served with the Green Berets, an elite special force in the Army, during the Vietnam War.

But last year, on Veterans Day, he admitted that he had been an enlisted soldier, not a Green Beret. He was awarded several decorations, including two Bronze Stars, for his service, according to the mayor's staff.

"The pending investigation has called into question two of those awards, neither of which appear to be supported by an appropriate military order," Jacobs' statement said. "This, in turn, creates a question as to a portion of Mr. Levy's veteran's disability benefits."

Jacobs said the federal investigation includes no allegation "that Mr. Levy in any direct or indirect way abused the electoral process or his position as mayor or was corrupted by criminal influences."

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"Nonetheless, Mr. Levy has concluded that public confidence is so eroded by these circumstances that the only responsible action is to step down, as he has done.

"He does so with great regret and with apologies to his supporters, to the people of Atlantic City, and to his family and friends," the attorney's statement said.

On September 28, the mayor's office released a statement saying that Levy would be out on medical leave until further notice. The mayor had not been in his office since September 26.

Jacobs said he delivered letters to the Atlantic City business administrator and the city clerk on September 28, explaining that the mayor needed a medical leave of about six weeks.

He did not specify what the health problems were.

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Levy, who was elected by an overwhelming majority in November 2005, previously took an unannounced 11-day leave in 2006. Acting Mayor Domenic Cappella said the mayor left to have back surgery.

This is not the first scandal Atlantic City officials have faced in recent years. In 2006, three of its nine City Council members were arrested on federal corruption charges. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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