Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter at the centre of an investigation into the outing of a CIA agent, agreed to resign on Wednesday after reaching a settlement with the paper.
The deal, which included a financial package and the Times' agreement to publish a letter from Ms Miller on its editorial page in Thursday's edition, ends her 28-year association with the paper, and one of the more turbulent episodes in its history.
Bill Keller, the Times' executive editor, announced Ms Miller's departure in a memo to staff on Wednesday. “In her 28 years at The Times, Judy participated in some great prize winning journalism,” it read.
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the papers' publisher, said: “We are grateful to Judy for her significant personal sacrifice to defend an important journalistic principle,” and wished her well.
Ms Miller won a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for her reporting on Al Qaeda and militant Islam. But she became a lightning rod for critics after a series of pre-invasion reports about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction turned out to be flawed.
More recently, she stoked controversy for her role in the investigation into the White House outing of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent whose husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had published an editorial in the Times critical of intelligence used to justify the invasion.
Ms Miller went to prison rather than testify about the matter, citing a reporter's First Amendment right to protect confidential sources. But after 85 days in prison, she agreed to appear before a grand jury, and revealed that Scooter Libby, the vice president's chief of staff, had discussed Ms Plame with her during meetings in 2003. Mr Libby has since been indicted on criminal charges for allegedly trying to obstruct the investigation.
Those revelations, as well as a reputation as a reporter “run amok”, led several media critics to assail the paper's management for mounting a vigorous and high-minded defence of Ms Miller without more closely examining her notes or the facts of the case.
As part of the settlement, Mr Keller also clarified remarks from an earlier staff memo, insisting that he did not mean to imply that Ms Miller had had an “improper” relationship with Mr Libby when he had referred to their “entanglement.”