THE mayor of Chelmsford resigned yesterday following accusations he used his council computer to look at illegal pornography.
It emerged David Lee, a married father-of-three, was under police investigation after Chelmsford Borough Council alerted detectives to alleged irregularities.
The 44-year-old has resigned both as mayor of the Essex town and also from his role as a borough councillor for the Conservative party.
He has also been told he will not be able to return to his role as vice governor of the Boswells School in Chelmsford until the police investigation is completed.
Mr Lee, who has not been arrested, became mayor in May and carried out a series of high-profile fund-raising and civic duties and had been due to attend tomorrow's Remembrance Service at Chelmsford Cathedral.
The deputy mayor, Nicolette Chambers, is to stand in for all the civic engagements.
Mr Lee's council laptop was seized from his home earlier this week and specialists from Essex Police's high-tech crime unit are analysing it.
The investigation is set to take months rather than weeks as police try to work out when any images were viewed and also how many people had access to the computer.
And today it's been confirmed that a married couple, both Conservative Councillors in Castle Point, have resigned before they are due to appear in court:
TWO married councillors quit just before benefit fraud charges against them were made public.
Tory Castle Point councillors Alan, 49, and Kate Meager, 55, stunned fellow members with their abrupt resignation from their posts in St Mary's ward, Benfleet, earlier this month.
The couple are understood to have written a formal letter to council leader Pam Challis before going on holiday.
Mrs Challis said: "I have accepted Kate and Alan Meager's resignation as they have informed me they have sold their house and are moving out of the area."
Hours later, chief executive David Marchant said: "I can confirm Mr and Mrs Meager have been investigated by our benefits team and, as a result, will appear at Southend Magistrates' Court on Monday, November 26. We are unable to comment further while the case is still active."