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Racine mayor resigns after getting nabbed in child sex sting

Council members in Racine will meet Thursday night to consider their options to replace Mayor Gary Becker.

The second-term leader resigned Tuesday, a week after he was arrested in an Internet child sex sting.

Becker submitted a one-sentence resignation letter at the same time many of us were watching President Barack Obama being sworn in.

His attorney said it was in everyone's best interest for Becker to resign.

Had he stayed on, the Common Council may have held a removal hearing. Instead, they'll decide whether to appoint a new mayor or let the voters do it in a special election.

Alderman David Maack has been the acting mayor, but he won't seek the job permanently.

Alderman Greg Helding filed a statement Tuesday afternoon declaring his candidacy. Former Racine Alderman Pete Karas did the same.

Meanwhile, Becker is schedule to enter pleas to his criminal charges on Feb. 10, and his lawyer says he'll plead innocent.

Becker is accused of trying to arrange sex with a person he met on the Internet, someone he apparently thought was a 14-year-old girl, but was actually a state Justice agent.