One day after his computer was linked to a barrage of incendiary e-mails allegedly from a 55-year-old female Republican volunteer, Cecil Station of Macon excused himself from his duties as Senate majority whip, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

Staton announced his decision during a Republican caucus meeting, declaring that the issue had become a distraction at a critical time. He maintained that he did not pose as the mysterious “Beth Merkleson,” who wrote a series of e-mails attacking Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the spokesman said.

Through the spokesman, who insisted on remaining unnamed, Staton said he was having an Internet technician investigate the incident.