Miami New Times Editor Jim Mullin plans to leave his post next month after an 18-year career at the weekly newspaper. His departure comes less than a month after the suicide of suspended Miami City Commissioner Arthur E. Teele Jr.

Teele killed himself in the lobby of the Miami Herald on July 27, the day New Times published a cover story based on police reports that Teele had consorted with a transvestite prostitute. New Times came under heavy criticism in Miami for publishing unsubstantiated allegations.

Mullin, 56, said Monday that Teele's suicide influenced his decision but he had been considering moving on for a year.

"Of course I was profoundly affected by the Teele tragedy. It had an effect on my thinking, as did deaths in my family," he said. "It has been playing on my mind. It was a very, very sobering experience. We received hundreds of letters almost universally condemning us."

Mullin also recently suspended three employees for posting derogatory comments about former and current colleagues on a blog.

A physician's son from Southern California who once dreamed of becoming a Republican congressman, Mullin arrived in Miami in January 1988 after a stint as the editor at the alternative weekly San Diego Reader.

Mullin said he will take some time off when he leaves at the end of September. "Thanks to the generosity of my bosses, I'll have the luxury of taking some serious downtime," he said. "I'm very, very grateful for that."