PETER Fussell's controversial six-year tenure as a councillor came to an end last night, with Griffith City Council voting to accept his resignation.
The past three years have seen Mr Fussell lose his business empire, fight severe depression and take almost six months leave from council.
His car dealerships, Griffith City Motors and Riverina Motors, went into receivership in April 2010 amid allegations of fraud and non-payment of staff.
Soon after, Mr Fussell was hospitalised as a result of depression, which marked the beginning of his extended leave of absence.
The decision to resign came as Mr Fussell prepares to face a court case that is likely to leave him bankrupt.
The company that managed the liquidation of his businesses will be seeking more than $1 million to pay their fees as well as paying creditors.
Mr Fussell expects to lose his Yoogali farm as part of the arrangement.
"There are two sets of reasons for me stepping down now - some are personal and some are to do with the legal side of things," Mr Fussell said.
"It's not appropriate for me to be a councillor when the court case is on, and if I do become bankrupt, I am technically not allowed to serve at any level of government anyway.
"By leaving now, I am saving council about $6000 that they would pay me over the next six months - they can use that somewhere else like the flood recovery effort."
While Mr Fussell's time on council was often controversial, he could also lay claim to some important achievements, including leading the charge for an investigation into council's outstanding development applications and finding ways to substantially reduce the cost of the Griffith Airport upgrade.
"I hope people will see that I have been a participant, not a passenger for better or worse," Mr Fussell said.
He said the hardest thing about his resignation had been calling acting mayor Domenic Testoni and council general manager Brett Stonestreet to deliver the news.
His biggest regret was that his time on council had to come to a premature end.
Councillor Testoni echoed Mr Fussell's disappointment.
"He was trying to hang on for as long as he could, but the time came when he had to pull the pin," Cr Testoni said.
"I had a lot of time and respect for Peter - he was a good councillor."
Council will write to state local government minister Don Page to request permission to forgo a by-election to replace Mr Fussell.