Matt Leonard, president and CEO of the Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, offered his resignation Wednesday amid the fallout from a now-canceled raffle of an assault rifle that was advertised to members on Election Day without prior approval from the chamber’s board of directors.

Leonard, a 21-year Navy veteran, said Wednesday in a news release that the board had chastised him for his decision to advertise the raffle of a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle on Tuesday without its consent.

“Upon decisive, explicit and strong order from the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce board of directors, effective immediately, the ‘Gun Raffle’ and any promotion thereof is retracted,” he said. “The board has personally expressed to me without equivocation that the distasteful combination of the timing and content of the email that was sent yesterday promoting this raffle does not represent their guidance and intent.”

Leonard said the timing of the raffle advertisement and the item being auctioned were not intended to be taken as related to Tuesday’s divisive presidential election between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and real estate mogul Donald Trump, who is now president-elect.

Still, Leonard called his decision to disseminate the raffle notice Tuesday “reprehensible” and “inexcusable.”

“I made a colossal error in judgment with a corresponding failure in leadership. For that I am eternally and sincerely sorry and offer my most heartfelt apology to the members of the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce and community,” he said. “Although still pending stronger actions from the board of directors, I have submitted my immediate resignation to the board and will do everything in my power to execute their wishes in the days ahead.”

Leonard urged businesses that belong to the chamber not to regard the raffle advertisement as a reflection on the organization as a whole.

“The egregious timing of this communication was unintended, yet still reprehensible that it was in fact released,” he said. “Please know that this event was not properly vetted by the board of directors.”