WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- A Republican senator's lawyer who drafted a congressional memo talking up the political benefits of brain-damaged Terri Schiavo's right to life has resigned.
Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., told reporters a senior member of his staff had written an unsigned memorandum about the partisan political advantages of intervening in the Schiavo case.
Lawyer Brian Darling, 39, a former lobbyist for the Alexander Strategy Group on gun rights and other issues, offered his resignation and it was immediately accepted, Martinez told the Washington Post.
The anonymous memorandum, which was distributed to news organizations by Democratic aides, became widely cited as evidence at least some Republicans were applying a political spin to the Schiavo quandary.
"This type of behavior and sentiment will not be tolerated in my office," Martinez said. "As the senator, I am ultimately responsible for the work of my staff and the product that comes out of this office. I take full responsibility for this situation."
Terri Schiavo was at the center of a bitter fight between her husband and her parents over whether her feeding and hydration tube should be removed. She suffered brain damage as the result of a heart attack 15 years ago and doctors said she was in a persistent vegetative state. She died last week, 13 days after the feeding tube was removed.