By Tara Burghart Associated Press NEW YORK Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Rick Bragg resigned from The New York Times on Wednesday after the newspaper suspended him over a story that carried his byline but was reported largely by a freelancer. The resignation comes as the Times tries to rebound from a scandal in which the newspaper found fraud, plagiarism and inaccuracies in 36 of 73 recent articles written by reporter Jayson Blair. Bragg, who had blamed his suspension on what he called a torturous atmosphere at the newspaper since Blairs May 1 resignation, said he offered his resignation Wednesday evening. Executive Editor Howell Raines said in an e-mail to staff late Wednesday that the resignation had been accepted. We know this has been a difficult period, Raines added. We have full confidence in our staff and will be talking with you more in short order. Speaking to The Associated Press from New Orleans, where he is based as a national correspondent, Bragg had said earlier Wednesday that he planned to follow through on a decision made before the controversy erupted to leave the newspaper, probably this summer, to write two books. Later, Bragg said that staying on would only lead to more tension. I dont want to have that tension in my life, and I do not wish it on the Times. ... I do wish the best for the Times. The Times suspended Bragg, reportedly for two weeks, over his handling of a feature story about Florida oystermen. It said in an editors note last Friday that while Bragg wrote the June 15 article and visited the Gulf Coast town of Apalachicola, a freelancer handled interviewing and other reporting at the scene. The note said the article should have carried the freelancers byline along with Braggs, but Bragg said the newspaper often uses freelancers to report from the scene of a story without giving them credit.