Raleigh City Council member Saige Martin resigned Friday after allegations of sexual assault and misconduct were brought to light by a News & Observer investigation.

It will now be up to the other members on the council to fill his seat. 

Martin, who has not returned the INDY’s request for comment, stepped down from his post within hours of the story’s publication, Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin confirmed in a statement on Facebook.

“I am shocked by the allegations made against Councilor Saige Martin. He has offered and I have accepted his resignation,” Baldwin wrote in a Facebook post. “Any type of unwanted sexual behavior is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated or excused, especially when perpetrated by someone in a position of influence or power. I commend the survivors for the courage to come forward to tell their stories.”

Martin told the N&O “I am sorry for the harm this has caused the community.” He plans to release a longer statement later today. 

The N&O report details allegations of non-consensual sex and inappropriate text messages stemming from Martin’s time pursuing a master’s degree at N.C. State. The four men accusing Martin are all current or former N.C. State students and one was 17 at the time of his alleged encounter with Martin. 

Martin had served on the council for just eight months after beating incumbent Kay Crowder in the election last October. He had been a staunch advocate for defunding the police and orchestrated the backroom deal to dismantle the city’s citizen advisory council system. 

Martin’s resignation leaves the District D seat on the council vacant. According to the City Code of Ordinances: “Vacancies in the City Council shall be filled by the Council for the remainder of the unexpired term.”

That means the remaining council members will be appointing Martin’s successor to serve until the 2021 election. The appointee will have to be from Martin’s district, which encompasses southwest Raleigh and includes N.C. State’s campus, Cameron Village and Glenwood South. 

This is a developing story. 

Follow Raleigh News Editor Leigh Tauss on Twitter or send an email  to ltauss@indyweek.com

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