HARRISBURG - A controversial adviser to Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander will step down from his $104,470 position on Tuesday, department officials said.

Robert W. Patterson, a special assistant to Alexander, submitted his resignation early last week as The Inquirer was preparing to publish a story about his outside role as editor of a conservative, faith-based journal. But department officials acknowledged yesterday that he was still working for the state and would do so for an indefinite period.

They would not elaborate.

Efforts to contact Alexander and Patterson for comment have been unsuccessful.

A department spokeswoman said today that Patterson's last day will be Jan. 31.

In announcing Patterson's exit last week, the Corbett administration distanced itself from views expressed in the journal, which has criticized key welfare programs administered by the Department of Public Welfare and offered opinions that women should be stay-at-home mothers and opposing birth control - as well as musings on how condom use could rob women of reported mood-enhancing benefits of chemicals in semen.

Department officials said Patterson had decided to resign because he had been denied his request to remain the editor of the Family in America journal while working for the state.

Patterson began writing for the publication in 2004 and was named editor in 2009. The journal is published by the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society in Rockford, Ill., which opposes abortion, divorce, birth control, feminism, and homosexuality, and advocates for a "child-rich, married-parent" family.

In his columns, Patterson presents, summarizes, and opines on research relating to families.

They include entries on how children of single mothers are more likely to be overweight and those of working mothers more likely to be a "couch potato," and how women who take the Pill are less likely to find "Mr. Right."

He also authored a piece advocating scaling back assistance programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, and cash assistance for the poor.

The programs, he argued, are the legacy of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society and War on Poverty - which, Patterson argued, produced "more of a quagmire than Vietnam ever was."

Contact staff writer Angela Couloumbis at 717-787-5934, acouloumbis@phillynews.com, or @AngelasInk on Twitter.