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N. Carolina official resigns for sending racist Obama e-mail

Gov. Beverly Perdue asked for and received the resignation of N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Commission Chairman Doug Fox on Tuesday, just hours after newspapers provided Perdue's office with a copy of a racist photo illustration sent from Fox's e-mail address after last November's election.

The e-mail included an altered photo of the White House that turned the South Lawn into an enormous watermelon patch. The phrase, "There goes the neighborhood ..." was printed above the photo.

The e-mail was sent from Fox's law firm address Nov. 14 – 10 days after Barack Obama was elected president. The message, which had been forwarded multiple times by others before reaching Fox, contained no text other than the subject line, "how true."

Fox made no mention of the e-mail in his resignation letter, suggesting instead that he was leaving voluntarily.

"I believe it is time to surrender the helm to someone new," Fox wrote.

But Perdue indicated in a statement Tuesday afternoon that the resignation was linked to the e-mail.

"I have accepted Doug Fox's letter of resignation," Perdue said. "E-mails and images of this nature are offensive and unacceptable."

Fox, who was paid $110,000 last year, offered to stay on and help his successor settle in. Perdue, who will appoint a new chairman, declined.

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