DeKalb County Commission happenings

Lots to tell on the county side of DeKalb government. After much arguing and debate, Lee May is finally stepping down from his 5th district commission seat. He had been holding two county positions (we are unsure if he was being paid for both, but doubt it). In addition to the District 5 Commission seat, he is acting as interim CEO while Burrell Ellis is on trial for bribery and other charges. May was holding tightly to his old commission seat, because if Ellis is acquitted, he will take back his CEO job, leaving May out of work. May himself has recently been the subject of a corruption investigation.

Rumors swirled that May tipped off Developer Vaughn Irons about his resignation, giving Irons a jump on the competition to run for the seat. Both deny that. [Irons has been the subject of investigations by Channel 2 concerning contracts he received from DeKalb County. Irons has maintained no wrongdoing.]

If Ellis is acquitted, and various rumors turn out to be true, the next election could see Ellis, May and soon to be former school superintendent Michael Thurmond competing for the CEO seat. We are told that Thurmond, thinking he has saved DeKalb schools, is considering trying his hand at saving the rest of the county as well.

Read more on the subject here >>
DeKalb ICEO Lee May denies tipping developer about District 5 seat resignation

Meanwhile, Lee May had harsh words for Nancy Jester, who won the election for Elaine Boyer’s old seat. According to the Dunwoody Crier,

“Boyer reported Monday to a federal prison in Marianna, Fla., to begin serving her 14-month sentence for bilking the taxpayers. She will live in a minimum-security wing of the prison and must serve at least 85 percent of her sentence. That could mean she will be released in a year.”

“Boyer is accused of using her county budget to pay a phony consultant for services never delivered and then having the man place $68,000 in her personal bank account.”

“John Boyer, her husband, awaits sentencing in August for masterminding the scheme.”

The Crier goes on to tell us about the exchanges between May and Jester >>

“Nancy Jester, who represents north DeKalb, said May did the right thing.

“From the start, I have called for Lee May to resign his District 5 seat and allow for a free and fair election for the citizens of DeKalb County,” Jester said. “No one person holds the moral authority to occupy two elected positions simultaneously. Elected positions belong to no one person, rather, they belong to the people.”

… “Due to petty personal politics and clear obstruction, three commissioners have intentionally abused the process to prevent more than 140,000 citizens from their constitutional right of representation,” said May. “These commissioners have denied the opportunity to appoint well qualified individuals to the District 5 seat and have sabotaged other efforts to reach a consensus. They have chosen to avert (sic) the will of the people.”

May left the commission seat when Gov. Nathan Deal tapped him to replace CEO Burrell Ellis when Ellis was indicted by a DeKalb grand jury. He was brought to trial for shaking down county contractors for campaign contributions but that trial ended in a mis-trial.

Ellis is set for a new trial in June. Should he be acquitted he would return to the chief executive’s job, putting May out of work, but putting May in position to run in 2016 for May’s job and take office in 2017.

READ MORE AT THE CRIER at the appropriately title article linked below >>
DeKalb’s sorry soap opera rolls on

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2 Responses to DeKalb County Commission happenings

  1. Frustrated Dekalb Parent says:

    The commissioners recently voted on Nancy Jester’s resolution to allow the special investigation to include the commissioners and surprise, 3 voted yes and 3 voted no. The only reason to vote no is to hide something you have done. Will they ever be able to clean house? Just disgusting.


    District Five Election

    Commissioners Respond to Interim CEO’s Criticism
    In finally resigning his Commission Seat after 23 months as Interim Chief Executive, Lee May has made much of the resistance of “three Commissioners” of the BOC to his efforts to install a hand-picked successor to represent District Five. As the “three Commissioners” he referred to, we think the public might benefit from a broader perspective on the issue.

    First, the upcoming election could have occurred far sooner, in either of the General Elections in November of 2013 or 2014, if only Mr. May had earlier resigned the Commission seat he could not occupy while serving as the interim CEO. Not only would DeKalb have avoided the $100,000 expense of a Special Election, but voter participation would have been greatly increased over the lonely, single-issue ballot turnout we can expect on June 16. In fact, until a new law was hastily passed in April of 2014, his resignation was the only means to fill the seat. In refusing to resign, May prioritized keeping his political options open over representation for the citizens he is sworn to serve.
    Second, when the legislature did pass the new law to deal with this unprecedented vacancy, May then took control of the process and spent another 3 months trying to anoint an ally for the Commission Seat. He could not prevail, and then insisted, for another five months, that no one else would do, until he finally allowed the Commission to make nominations in February 2015.

    Finally, five nominations came from the Commission. Every Commissioner voted for some of the candidates, but none could achieve victory. In breaking a tie vote, May voted against Gina Mangham the only candidate that he could have pushed over the top.

    During these many months when May would not resign, he also abandon his responsibility to District Five constituents. He closed the District Office taking his staff with him and would not allow district funds to be used for a constituent services assistant. Represented by the Interim CEO, District Five should have had the best constituent services in the County; instead services remained as poor as ever.

    Now after all of these months that he delayed, May chose to resign with only a few short weeks between his resignation and a low turnout June 16 election. This is hardly a coincidence. There is not enough time to raise money and launch a campaign with early voting on May 26. This seems to be the very definition of the “petty personal politics and clear obstruction” that he attributes to us. In addition, someone apparently favored a candidate with knowledge of his plans, because only Vaughan Irons had campaign material ready to mail out the day of May’s resignation.

    We have consistently said the voters of District 5 should be able to elect their own representative to the County Commission. We have always supported an open and fair election and we are glad for that long overdue outcome. We regret that Mr. May’s singular focus on his own political advantage made the wait so long, and that the snap election scheduled for June 16 may attract so few voters. We hope that District Five candidates and voters will rise to the occasion and fill the seat with a Commissioner who has their interest, not his own, at heart.


    Commissioners Kathie Gannon, Nancy Jester and Jeff Rader

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