CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A political operative hired by West Virginia’s attorney general has quit.

Lance James Henderson’s resignation Wednesday followed a report of his hiring by the Charleston Gazette-Mail. In a statement on his resignation, Henderson said his hiring as Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s deputy chief of staff had become a distraction.

Morrisey hired Henderson at a salary just under $100,000 after eliminating a consumer fraud investigator position. The hiring sparked criticism by Democrats seeking Morrisey’s office and by party leaders.

In 2014, he was a consultant who worked for the Maine GOP, primarily managing a direct mail program for the governor’s race, among other jobs. He’s been a political operative for the past 25 years.

Morrisey’s office has said Henderson was hired to help manage scheduling and communications.

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CORRECTION: This story was updated at 2:19 p.m. on Oct. 23, 2015, to correct the description of Lance James Henderson’s political work in Maine in 2014.