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Colby Cooper, who has served as Mobile mayor Sandy Stimpson’s chief of staff for the past three years, announced Thursday he had resigned his position.

“Today I submitted my resignation to Mayor Stimpson,” Cooper wrote in a tweet posted Thursday afternoon. “Thank you City of Mobile it’s been an incredible ride! Keep the #MobileMomentum going!”

Cooper’s resignation comes just over a week after the mayoral chief of staff came under fire for his decision to remove a mature cedar tree from a city park for use as a prop during President-elect Donald Trump’s December 17 rally at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Cooper later issued an apology, saying he’d become “overzealous” in his efforts to facilitate the President-elect’s visit.

Outgoing Mobile chief of staff Colby Cooper, left, with Mayor Sandy Stimpson, right, in 2013. (Sandy Stimpson/Special to The Pulse)

“I want to thank Colby for his dedication and service as Chief of Staff,” Mayor Stimpson said in a statement. “His passion and commitment helped us advance toward our goal of making Mobile the safest, most business and family-friendly city in America. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Prior to joining Stimpson’s administration in 2013, Cooper worked as a Director of Corporate Communications for PepsiCo, Inc. and as President of the Coastal Alabama Leadership Council.

Paul Wesch, Stimpson’s Executive Director of Finance, has been named acting chief of staff. Cooper will remain with the mayor’s office in an advisory role through March 31, 2017 to assist with the transition.

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