Henry Commissioner Clemmons request for 90-day leave rejected

Henry County Commissioner Dee Clemmons announced Tuesday she would be taking a 90-day leave of absence from her position to tend to her physical and mental health.

“I will remain devoted to my mission of making Henry County a safer and more compassionate home for our residents,” Clemmons, who represents Henry’s second district, said in a release. “My request does not mean my dedicated public service work is done. However, for me to serve the community with the highest standards of care, taking a leave of absence to attend to my physical and mental health must be my priority during the next 90 days.

“I hope to return to my elected duties stronger than ever,” she said.

But the greenlight she needed from her fellow commissioners for the time away was not approved when the motion for the leave of absence failed to get a second during a Tuesday vote. By law a commissioner’s extended leave must be approved by the full commission.

Commissioners did not say why they rejected the motion. It was not immediately clear how that decision would impact Clemmons’ plans.

Clemmons, who was elected in 2016 and was Henry’s first Black female commissioner, said she was seeking the time off on the advice of her doctor. The commissioner had said that if her leave was approved, constituent aides in her office and county administrative staff would handle business in her district.

“I would like to thank the many Henry County residents for their ongoing support while I have served as commissioner,” she said. “I realize there is much which still needs to be improved within Henry County. Our residents must be able to trust their commissioners will act in their best interests whether in public or behind the scenes.”