Applicants sought to fill District 5 seat

5/9/2014, 6:46 a.m.

Residents of DeKalb Commission District 5 who are interested in serving as interim DeKalb commissioner will be able to apply for the position starting May 29.

The seat, which is held by Lee May, has been without full representation since July 16, 2013, when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed him to be the county’s interim CEO. May’s appointment followed the suspension of CEO Burrell Ellis, who was indicted on theft and racketeering charges for allegedly shaking down county vendors for campaign donations.

Deal signed Senate Bill 367, which provides temporary relief for the district of 145,000 residents, last week.

In an April 29 letter to the DeKalb Board of Commissioners, May said County Attorney O.V. Brantley’s formal opinion is that his office will nominate candidates for the temporary position and the BOC will confirm one.

He said he will advertise for an interim replacement.

“I believe we must act in a swift, thorough and deliberate manner,” Lee wrote. “We plan to place the advertisement for an interim replacement for District 5 within the next 30 days.”

The law requires the county to advertise for applicants for two weeks in the county legal organ, which is the Champion newspaper. But “to maximize our exposure and recruit the best pool of candidates,” May said he will extend the outreach to CrossRoadsNews and On Common Ground News, which serve District 5.

“If you have any candidates that have already contacted you that meet the requirements set forth in SB 367, please forward that information so we can give them the consideration they deserve,” he said.

May said he will appoint a three-member panel to review all applicants and recommend no more than two finalists to the Board of Commissioners for consideration.

“Once the process is completed and a qualified candidate is identified, I will submit my nomination at the next regularly scheduled Committee of the Whole or Board of Commissioners meeting,” he said.

Ellis’ trial is scheduled to start Sept. 8. If he is exonerated, he will return to the CEO office and May will return to the District 5 seat.