In a statement released by the city, London Mayor Joe Fontana has announced he will resign.

Fontana will hold a press conference on Thursday to speak about his resignation as London's mayor.

In a statement, he said, "I am taking this step out of respect for the office of the Mayor, the people of London and our judicial system.

"Over the next two days I will be speaking with fellow Council members and City staff to ensure a smooth transition for whomever takes the interim Mayor’s position.”

On Friday, Fontana was found guilty of three charges including fraud under $5,000, uttering forged documents and breach of trust.

The charges stemmed from a contract Fontana admitted he altered before submitting it for expenses in 2005 when he was a federal MP.

The government paid out $1,700 for the contract, but Fontana argued it was for a separate event, not his son's wedding.

Fontana and his legal team have still not announced whether they will appeal the guilty verdict, but sentencing is scheduled for July 15.

Fontana's former campaign manager Cheryl Miller says the move is the honourable thing to do.

"[As an] elected politician at any level you are a role model for the community and I don't think it's very good for the community to have a mayor who is charged. Now that he is convicted I am delighted that he is going to step down because I think that that's the right thing to do."

What's next at city hall

Ward 3 Councillor Joe Swan has stepped in as acting mayor and will oversee the upcoming transition, including the selection of an interim mayor until the  municipal election this fall.

"We're trying to attract jobs to our community. They need to know that London is a good place to invest and that we, in fact, are ready and open and able to continue to conduct business despite the troubles of one member of our council. So let's tone down the rhetoric, let's stay focused on our work at hand," Swan says.

Many on council had been calling for Fontana to step down immediately, even those who had been his closest allies, and to the relief of many Fontana's decision spares council the potentially embarassing move of having to formally ask him to step down.

Councillor Bill Armstrong says "This has been a distraction for our city and...I think the citizens of London expect that we will move on, move quickly and focus on what's really important."

Councillor Stephen Orser adds "I have a breath of relief and it's not said with any joy. It's just glad to see he's made a decision and we can move forward."

That sentiment has been echoed my many of London's residents on the streets and on social media.

As for what's next in the process of choosing an interim mayor, council will have to make a decision on June 24th.

After that the deadline for candidates to register is Sept. 12th for the municipal election coming on Oct. 27th. And the new mayor and council will take their places on Dec. 1st.