JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. - Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Sue Bell Cobb, says she accepts the resignation of a man working her campaign after he turned himself in to authorities last week.
Paul Littlejohn, III is accused of violating the state's Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, according to our news partners at AL.com. But Cobb continues to defend him and told The Huntsville Times/AL.com that the charge was politically motivated.
On Saturday, following a Democratic governor's forum in Mobile, Cobb said she accepts his resignation. But that came just days after she reiterated her support for him in downtown Birmingham, and said she would not accept his resignation even after he offered it.
"If I had let Paul Littlejohn go, I would have been going against everything I would I believe and everything I have said as the leader of the justice system," she said at the time.
Littlejohn, III was released from prison four years ago, after serving 30 years for a rape and sodomy offense in 1984. Littlejohn served as the Cobb campaign's Jefferson County field director. Cobb says Littlejohn was always with his wife and that he didn't knock on doors in the field, but managed a team that was aware of his past.
"Paul was convicted of a horrendous crime, but that was 35 years ago. Since then he is literally the picture of redemption. He has truly reformed his life," Cobb remarked.
According to AL.com, Littlejohn turned himself into the Jefferson County authorities on Thursday after charges were filed because he had been working as a pastor at the Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, which also has a daycare and is near a school. Alabama law prohibits sex offenders from being near elementary schools and daycares.
Cobb says Littlejohn was an unpaid church volunteer. She defends Littlejohn's character and maintains his arrest is politically motivated.