DeKalb Interim CEO May Steps Down from District Seat (UPDATE 1)
(APN) ATLANTA — DeKalb County Government is once again under regional scrutiny as the acting CEO and District 5 Commissioner Lee May stepped down to allow for a special election to fill the District 5 seat.
Lee became the Interim CEO for DeKalb on July 16, 2013, appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal. May was District 5 Commissioner when appointed Interim CEO. Since then, District 5 has been without voting representation.
May will still hold his position as Interim CEO for DeKalb County; for how long is unknown.
May is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation over questions about whether he received preferential treatment during a series of home repairs five years ago. The FBI has declined comment due to the pending investigation, according to CBS 46 Atlanta.
Unable to fill the seat through a Commission appointment due to lack of consensus, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners is also reeling from former Commissioner Elaine Boyer’s resignation after she admitted to embezzling hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
The Commission has not been able to come to a decision about who to appoint to represent District 5; meanwhile, the fine folks of that district have been without full representation for over two years.
“Qualifying for the District 5 Commissioner seat begins May 18. I look forward to talking with some of the announced candidates about their priorities and vision for DeKalb County. A decision on whether to endorse a candidate will be made after these discussions. However, let me clear; I have not and will not endorse the candidacy of Mr. Vaughn Irons to be the next District 5 Commissioner,” May said in a statement released on May 12.
When the Commission at first sought applicants to fill the District 5 seat, 20 applied for the position including: Tarnisha Dent; George Turner, Jr.; Gina Smith Mangham, Esq.; Charles Smith Hill, M.D.; Kenneth R. Saunders, III; Markus J. Butts; Kathryn T. Rice, Ph.D.; Randal Mangham, Esq., MDiv.; Faye Coffield, a private investigator who formerly worked for U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney and who sought the Georgia Fourth U.S. Congressional District seat as an independent; Jacqueline Tumbling; Pierre Louis; Melvin D. Mitchell; Belinda M. Myers, MBA; Harmel Deanne Codi, JD, MBA; Joscelyn C. O’Neil; Andre R. White; Geraldine A. Champion; Kamau K. Mason, Esq.; Angela Moore, former candidate for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State of Georgia; and Wendolyn Peters.
As of this publication, at least one person, Vaughn Irons, has announced his intent to run for District 5 in the Special Election.
“Irons, a politically-connected property developer and former Freddie Mac executive, has been close to the commission for years,” according to the Peach Pundit blog. He and May used to be friends; now they are not.
In the wake of two scandalous CEOs, first with the infamous Vernon Jones, then with Burrell Ellis–and now with Lee May being investigated–the collective feeling from residents is beyond frustration. DeKalb continues to find itself being led by what appear to be substandard public servants with little to no concept of integrity.
“Thank you for the service you have rendered as the District 5 representative to the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners,” Gov. Deal wrote in a letter to May on May 07, 2015.
“I appreciate you taking the time to apprise me of your resignation, effective immediately. Your resignation as the District 5 Commissioner of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners is hereby accepted, and I appreciate your willingness to continue to serve as the Interim Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County. Again, thank you for your service to the citizens of DeKalb County and the State of Georgia.”
If a jury finds Ellis guilty of “shaking down” city contractors for campaign contributions, as is alleged, May would remain CEO until Ellis’s appeals are resolved or until after 2016 election, whichever comes first. If a jury acquits Ellis, he could retake leadership of the County, and May would be out of office, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper.
An earlier version of this article contained a sentence suggesting that May’s resignation may have had to do with the FBI investigation, instead of creating a pathway for representation for the 5th District. There is no reason to believe this and the suggestion does not make logical sense because the outcome of the FBI investigation would likely have the same impact whether he is only serving as Interim CEO, or for argument’s sake, whether he was still serving as Interim CEO and District 5 Commissioner.