MONMOUTH COUNTY - Monmouth County SPCA Chief Victor “Buddy” Amato has resigned from his position after a lawsuit was filed alleging Amato sent racially and sexually biased text messages to a former co-worker.

Monmouth County SPCA President and CEO Jerry Rosenthal released a statement saying, “The Monmouth County SPCA has a zero tolerance policy against discrimination and harassment. These allegations have been taken very seriously and have been under a thorough investigation.”

In a statement to News 12 New Jersey, Chief Amato said, "I decided to retire. I was going to retire in six months, but as a result of this, I thought it would probably be better timing to do so now. So, I sent in my retirement resignation letter."

He went on to say, "It was a pleasure and honor to be the representative of all the voiceless victims in Monmouth County. My greatest reward is the thousands of animals I have saved."

The allegations are now under investigation. A new chief has not been named at this time.