DeKalb County is the only one of Georgia’s 159 counties that has a CEO position. DeKalb’s CEOs have been mired in controversy in recent years, but state lawmakers didn’t approve a measure to abolish the role. MARK NIESSE / MARK.NIESSE@AJC.COM

Effort to eliminate DeKalb’s powerful leader falls short

Despite criticisms that DeKalb County’s top government position concentrates power and leads to corruption, state lawmakers declined to pass a bill this year to eliminate the CEO job.

Legislators who opposed the change said they weren’t convinced the CEO role is the root of DeKalb’s problems, and they wanted a broader review of the county’s form of government.

DeKalb is the only county in Georgia with an elected CEO, while many other counties hire a manager or administrator to oversee government operations.

The measure to abolish the CEO, Senate Bill 378, didn’t receive a vote in the Georgia House of Representatives before the legislative session concluded early Friday morning.

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