DeKalb watershed director alleged ‘unlawful actions’ in resignation

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Massive water main break in DeKalb County A water main break in DeKalb County has been causing flooding on Buford Highway since before 4:30 a.m. Wednesday. DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said the 48" break was a result of a structural failure. The break is impacting schools, hospitals, restaurants and other services across the county, which is under a boil water advisory. DeKalb County schools announced early dismissal and City Schools of Decatur will remain closed. Emory University's Druid Hills campus clos

In addition to the massive water main break that has crippled operations, DeKalb County is facing accusations of illegal activity from its Watershed Management director.

Scott Towler submitted a scathing two-page letter on Monday to the county’s deputy chief operating officer, Ted Rhinehart. In it, he accused Rhinehart and the county CEO of urging him to make decisions that violate federal and state laws and leaving him out of meetings and decision-making once he resisted.

“I have no choice but to resign this position -- despite significant impact to my life and my family -- because of the ongoing retaliatory actions by you and CEO Mike Thurmond in response to my refusal to violate the law and participate in unlawful activities in the operation of DWM, especially those which are a violation of the county’s Consent Decree and federal and state environmental laws,” Towler wrote.

Thurmond’s office has denied the allegations.

“Mr. Towler is a disgruntled employee that has made a series of slanderous, baseless accusation against county leadership that are not grounded in fact,” said LaKeitha Carlos, the CEO’s chief of staff.

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DeKalb officials also released a statement acknowledging Towler’s resignation.

“Mr. Scott Towler’s resignation as director of Watershed Management for DeKalb County has been accepted by Zach Williams, the county’s Chief Operating Officer, effective March 16, 2018. A search will be conducted immediately for a new director of Watershed Management,” the statement said. has more on this story. Read more here.

Towler’s resignation letter is embedded below:

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