PASSIAC COUNTY - Controversial Passaic County Sherriff Jerry Speziale abruptly resigned from his post this afternoon.

The move comes after the Civil Service Commission in May accused Speziale of too many patronage hires. The board had ordered him to fire eight sheriff?s investigators and Speziale refused.

Speziale brought an appeal against the order and was seeking a fourth term as sheriff before his abrupt announcement.

"It was an honor to serve as sheriff and I will always be thankful to the citizens of Passaic County for the opportunity of protecting their homes and neighborhoods," Speziale said in a statement.

He says he has accepted a position as first deputy superintendent with the Port Authority.