Lithonia Democratic lawmaker resigns from Georgia House

State Rep. Pam Stephenson, a Decatur Democrat speaks with state Rep. Park Cannon , D-Atlanta, on the House floor. Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

A longtime DeKalb County Democratic lawmaker turned in her resignation letter to Gov. Brian Kemp, likely triggering a special election to fill her seat.

State Rep. Pam Stephenson of Lithonia submitted her resignation last Thursday, Kemp spokesman Candice Broce said. Stephenson could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Kemp accepted her resignation, effective Sept. 4.

Stephenson’s daughter, Taurean Stephenson, sent an email to House Speaker David Ralston’s office announcing her mother’s intent to resign. Taurean Stephenson said she was acting as her mother’s power of attorney.

Taurean Stephenson forwarded the letter to the governor’s office on Sept. 10.

It is unclear if Stephenson has also withdrawn her candidacy for the November election. If she has, Kemp will have to call for a special primary election to fill Stephenson’s seat in the next term. She won a June primary and no Republican filed to run in November.

It’s unclear when that election would be held.

Stephenson was first elected to represent House District 90 in 2005. She is the former CEO of Grady Memorial Hospital, where was at the center of a court battle with her predecessor, Otis Story. She was at the center of a court battle with Otis Story. Story accused Stephenson of orchestrating his 2008 dismissal so she could assume his job.

More recently, Stephenson, an attorney by trade, represented a Carrollton man charged in the hot car deaths of his twin daughters. Asa North was convicted following that original 2018 trial, but prosecutors later took the unusual step of agreeing that he hadn’t received a fair trial because Stephenson mounted little defense on behalf of her client.

Last September, the state bar suspended her from practicing law.