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And then there was one.

Robert Herdman, the

Securities and Exchange Commission's

chief accountant, became the second high-ranking SEC official to resign in the aftermath of the furor over the appointment of William Webster to a new accounting oversight board.

Herdman submitted his resignation late Friday to outgoing SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt, who submitted his resignation on Election Day to President Bush.

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"I submit this resignation in light of recent events as well as knowledge that the commission must make, over the coming weeks, important decisions about the implementation of several accounting-related provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act," wrote Herdman.

Herdman's resignation had been expected, because he played a role in helping to vet Webster and the other candidates for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Pitt was forced to resign from the SEC after it was revealed that Webster, a former federal judge and former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, had sat on the audit board of

U.S. Technologies

, a company facing a potential fraud investigation. Webster told Pitt about the issue, but Pitt never told his fellow commissioners before the vote on Webster's nomination.

Pressure is now growing on Webster to also resign from the accounting board, which is the cornerstone of the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform law. But President Bush said he supports Webster, and will wait until several investigations into the matter are complete.