Governor asked to choose DeKalb representative

Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May said Tuesday he will ask Gov. Nathan Deal to appoint a temporary commissioner for 140,000 southeast DeKalb residents who have lacked full representation for more than a year and a half.

The DeKalb Commission has deadlocked since August over May's nominee to represent the area, George Turner, who is an involved resident.

The seat has been vacant since July 2013, when Deal appointed May to serve as the county’s chief executive, replacing suspended CEO Burrell Ellis while criminal charges are pending against him. Ellis is accused of shaking down county contractors for campaign contributions.

May said the debate over the Panola Slope gaming resort, which is located in South DeKalb, motivated him to ask Deal to step in. The DeKalb Commission in December unanimously approved the resort, which would have up to 425 gaming machines, by far the most in Georgia.

“It’s taxation without representation. It’s as simple as that,” May said. “District 5 deserves a person who can stand in and deliberate over the zoning, budget and policy issues that directly affect the district.”

Georgia law allows for the governor to make an appointment for a local elected vacancy if it’s not filled within 45 days.