Southeast DeKalb commissioner chosen

George Turner, an active southeast DeKalb County community member, was nominated Monday by Interim CEO Lee May to serve as a temporary county commissioner.

Turner, who would take office upon approval of the Board of Commissioners, would fill a seat that has been vacant for more than a year since May became the county’s chief executive. May replaced Burrell Ellis, who was suspended by Gov. Nathan Deal following allegations of shaking down county contractors for campaign contributions.

Turner serves as president of the District 5 Community Council and as a board member of the Arabia National Heritage Area. He previously worked as a legislative aide in the Georgia State Senate and is the president of the Hunter’s Run II Homeowner’s Association.

A three-member citizen panel recommended Turner and Kathryn Rice, president of Building Quality Communities, from a slate of 20 applicants for the job. May picked Turner after interviewing both finalists.

Turner would serve at least until the end of Ellis’ trial, which is scheduled to begin next month.

If Ellis is found not guilty, Ellis would resume his job as CEO and May would retake his seat on the commission. If Ellis is found guilty, Turner would continue to represent the area until Ellis’ appeals are exhausted or the next election occurs.

Watch Lee May announce Turner’s selection.

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