Hearing on Henry commissioner’s voting eligibility set for Thursday

Henry County elections officials will meet Thursday to determine the voting eligibility of a county commissioner who has been splitting his time between the county and Tennessee where his family now lives.

District 2 Commissioner Brian Preston's residency status has angered some residents who say he should leave office because he no longer officially resides in Henry.

Preston has said he’ll resign at the end of July. But a newly-formed citizen watchdog group wants him out immediately and has filed a complaint with the voter registration office to get him removed.

“He lives in Tennessee. Everybody knows that,” said Larry Morey, chairman of the Ethics in Government Committee. Morey, a former Henry County Commission chairman, filed the complaint with the elections board about a week ago. “I asked him to resign at the last county commission meeting. He wouldn’t do it. He claims he wants to represent the people. He’s not doing that.”

Efforts to reach Preston on Friday were unsuccessful.

A spokesperson for the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, previously has said concerns over Preston’s residency and qualifications to remain in office “is a question that would have to be resolved judicially.”

When asked if he’d seek Preston’s seat, Morey said “I probably won’t. The reason I did this is because he does not have the right to vote here.”

Morey said on Friday that a contract was taken on Preston’s Locust Grove home on June 21. He noted that the closing on the home will be July 31.

Thursday’s hearing will be at 10 a.m. at the elections office, 40 Atlanta St. in McDonough.