Henry Commissioner to resign over residency question

A Henry County Commissioner plans to step down from his post at the end of July.

District 2 Commissioner Brian Preston’s impending resignation, announced at Tuesday’s commission meeting, follows months of speculation that he actually lives in Tennessee and not Georgia. By law, he is not eligible to serve as Henry commissioner if he doesn’t live here on a regular basis.

Preston also plans to close his wealth-management business in McDonough as part of his permanent move to Franklin, Tenn., about 20 miles south of Nashville. Preston’s family already has been living there. Efforts to reach Preston Friday were unsuccessful.

One long-time resident said Preston’s resignation is long overdue and she still not happy that he’ll be in the job another month.

“Am I happy to see Mr. Preston go? Yes because he has not been honest,” said Barbara Torbett who has spent the last eight months trying to force Preston out of office.”He’s fooled the people. When I tried to do the right thing he asked me to trust him and that he would resign last October but he stayed. Everyday he served is illegal.”

Torbett, who has lived in the county since 1970, said because he’s not leaving until next month, he’ll likely get to vote on the county budget, a new county manager and fire chief.

“He’ll be voting on things that have far-reaching implication,” Torbett said.

Torbett said she obtained Preston’s phone records and found that between last September 24 through April 20 , Preston had 189 calls of which 134 originated in Franklin, Tenn.

“He says he spends 50 percent of his time in Tennessee and 50 percent in Henry,” Torbett said. “You can’t have two domiciles.”

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