The man in charge of the Scottish Fingerprint Service has resigned days before it is taken over by the new Scottish Police Services Authority.
Ian Todd was head of the fingerprint service for a year
It is understood Ian Todd will continue to support the six fingerprint officers at the heart of the Shirley McKie case.
He was head of the Scottish Criminal Records Office - which encompasses the fingerprint service - for a year.
He took over after the McKie case, in which a fingerprint found at a murder scene was wrongly identified.
Eventually ministers awarded the former detective £750,000 in compensation.
However, the six forensic scientists involved in the print identification have always insisted no mistake was made and their supporters claim Mr Todd has consistently given them full backing.
Mr Todd is understood to be out of the country at the moment.
Sources suggest he has resigned to avoid having to work under David Mulhern, a former deputy chief constable brought in by the Scottish Executive to restructure the service.
In a statement, Mr Mulhern said Mr Todd's departure would have no consequences for the organisation.
It is believed the six officers are under growing pressure to accept redundancy.
Labour MSP Ken Macintosh, who has supported some of the fingerprint staff, said he was sorry to hear of Mr Todd's resignation.
He told BBC Scotland: "I think that this is yet another example of someone who has had to leave the fingerprint service purely because they have had the courage, the moral courage, to stand up and defend the officers, these public servants who believed this was Shirley McKie's fingerprint.
"They are public servants carrying out their duty, they have the right to hold that opinion and think the contrast between this man who has now lost his job, the threat that hangs over the six others and the £750,000 paid to Shirley McKie is disgraceful."