IRVING, Texas (AP) _ Mesa Inc. director John L. Cox resigned from the board Tuesday, saying he was tired of the ``sideshow stuff'' surrounding the independent natural gas company.

Cox, 70, who owns 1.1 million Mesa shares, said his resignation after one year ``does not indicate a lack of confidence in Mesa's management and board of directors.''

``It seems to me like there is a lot of static running around, nipping and picking at things, and not a lot getting done because of a lot of sideshow stuff,'' he said. ``It's not worth my time.''

Directors of the debt-ridden company have been under pressure from a dissident shareholder group sell or pursue a merger. The group also tried to wrest control of the company from its chairman and founder, Boone Pickens.

Cox was named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit the shareholder group led by billionaires Dennis R. Washington and Marvin Davis filed last week, accusing some of the Mesa's directors of insider trading.

Cox's resignation reduces the board to nine directors. The board has not decided whether to replace Cox, said Mesa spokesman Jay Rosser.

Michael Sitrick, a spokesman for the Washington-Davis group, did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press.