Representation denied for southeast DeKalb

The DeKalb County Commission failed to confirm Tuesday any of the five finalists to represent 140,000 residents who have lacked a district commissioner for more than a year and a half.

The board, divided into two factions, couldn't reach a consensus on the candidates after going through a seven-month effort to find a commissioner, including public interviews and repeated votes.

The southeast DeKalb area will remain without full representation indefinitely.

The embattled commission has only had six members since July 2013, when Gov. Nathan Deal appointed then-Commissioner Lee May to serve as interim CEO while criminal charges are pending against suspended CEO Burrell Ellis.

Frustrated commissioners attacked each other for their refusal to cooperate on any candidate, and members of the audience shouted at them to take action.

But the dispute only deepened each side’s resolve.

Unless the commission reaches a majority to approve a commissioner, southeast DeKalb would remain without one at least until the resolution of the charges against Ellis.

Ellis’ retrial on charges that he shook down county contractors for campaign contributions is scheduled for June 1.