- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A Maine state senator who was criticized for a Facebook post that linked President Barack Obama to the Islamic State group is stepping down from his post as chairman of a legislative committee.

A Senate Republican spokeswoman says Sen. Michael Willette offered Wednesday to resign his chairmanship on the State and Local Government Committee.

The Maine Democratic Party called for Willette’s resignation from the Legislature after several offensive Facebook posts were made public this month, including one suggesting that Obama’s family members are part of the extremist terror group.

Senate President Michael Thibodeau says he accepts Willette’s decision, applauding him for “putting the interests of the Legislature before his own.”

A spokesman for Thibodeau says Willette will remain on the committee, but a new Senate chair will be named.

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