Former Placerville Mayor Dave Machado has resigned his seat on the City Council, effective immediately.
Machado has been under a legal cloud since the El Dorado County District Attorney filed felony and misdemeanor charges against him in August, when he was still mayor.
Machado submitted his resignation Tuesday, addressed to City Manager Cleve Morris. It became public Wednesday.
The resignation is not at all related to the charges he faces, Machado said Wednesday by phone.
"The district attorney thinks I've done something wrong," he said, "not the city."
In his resignation letter, Machado referred to his real estate activities.
"Conducting my business while a member of the City Council has always been a challenge," he wrote in his letter, adding that purchase of the Florence Building on Main Street made it that much more difficult.
"What I've had to do the last couple of years, is I deal with agents," Machado said by phone Wednesday. "When you're asking an attorney to pull a building permit for you, it gets pretty expensive."
The felony and misdemeanor counts against Machado involve alleged cover-ups with earlier real estate dealings.
The charges are for conspiracy and perjury, including hiding an interest in a building in what was then the city's redevelopment zone.
Machado has his next court hearing July 10.
He's represented by James S. Clark, a colorful and high-profile Placerville defense lawyer who has expressed optimism about the case.
Current Mayor Mark Acuna said he had seen Machado as recently as the weekend, but there was "no real hint that I was aware of" regarding resignation. Nevertheless, given Machado's circumstances, "it's not a total surprise."
The resignation leaves the city with just four council members to carry on business, but it's entering a period of less difficult issues, Acuna said.
It appears likely that officials will allow voters to choose a replacement in November, when Machado would have faced re-election, rather than appointing a new council member or holding a special election.
Choosing an appointee would be a drain on city staff and would take almost until the election, Acuna said, and a special election would be prohibitively expensive.
The city issued a statement expressing "our appreciation to Mr. Machado for his contributions to the City" and saying, "We look forward to putting the issues related to Mr. Machado's legal problems behind us."
"Chapter closed," Acuna said, and thanked city staff for continuing to focus on city business after the then-mayor was charged.
"It's a huge distraction, when you think of it," he said.