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BREAKING: N.C. House speaker's chief of staff resigns

April 27, 2012

The top aide to North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis has resigned after a newspaper questioned his relationship with a registered lobbyist.

Chief of Staff Charles Thomas confirmed to The Associated Press that he resigned Thursday but denies doing anything illegal or unethical.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Friday about Thomas' relationship with the female lobbyist, pointing to photos, video and eyewitness accounts of the pair together by a private investigative agency. Thomas is married.

Thomas would not discuss with the AP the nature of the relationship but questioned who would pay to follow him around. The newspaper said the agency was working for an unidentified client.

Thomas said he stepped down because the situation is a distraction for the House. Lawmakers meet again May 16.

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