BOSTON--Stephen F. Clifford, State Insurance Commissioner, resigned yesterday, after one month in office, saying he has been "subjected to unreasonable and unfair attacks by the media."
In his letter of resignation, Clifford, whose real estate dealings have been the focus of controversy, said, "I have been unfairly attacked by innuendo and improper inference, but I recognize that these attacks have made it difficult, if not impossible, for me to be effective in my job."
It was reported this week that Clifford acted as a straw in a real estate purchase for a rust that included George S. Davis, who was convicted last year of insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit arson.
Davis said in testimony before the Boston Rent Control Board in 1977 that Clifford's purchases of condominiums in a Boston apartment building were arranged in order to refinance the building.
Before the resignation announcement yesterday, Neil L. Lynch, counsel to Gov. Edward J. King, said he did not see anything illegal or improper in Clifford's financial dealings. "I don't see any laws that have been violated," he said.
Clifford said he was resigning because, "this unfair publicity has also adversely impacted upon the governor in his important battle to make significant reductions in the local property tax and bring prosperity to the Commonwealth."