Top leaders of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency resigned Thursday.

Jim Morgo, 67, chairman of the board of directors, said he was stepping down immediately because of recent commitments on his time. He was hired as an economic development adviser to the Long Island Association business group and joined Suffolk County Community College's board of trustees.

He was appointed to the IDA board eight years ago by the county legislature and has been chairman for the last six.

After a private meeting, board members, some in tears, accepted the resignation of Bruce E. Ferguson, the IDA's executive director since 1985.

Ferguson, 65, said Steve Bellone was the sixth county executive he had worked under. "I figured my luck was going to run out and they would be coming for me," said Ferguson, who will leave Aug. 31. He plans to become a consultant.

Morgo and Ferguson were key players in Suffolk's bid for Canon U.S.A.'s Americas headquarters, now under construction in Melville.

Bellone aides want political strategist and fundraiser Anthony Manetta to be IDA executive director. Manetta attended Thursday's meeting but the board did not take a vote on his hiring.

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Manetta wasn't discouraged, citing in an interview afterward his experience, which includes an MBA from Dowling College, running his own business and working for another. He once served as vice chairman of the Suffolk County Independence Party but said Thursday he hadn't held party posts since early 2010.