Gov. Nathan Deal announced Tuesday that he removed indicted DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis and in his place appointed DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May.
Before the announcement May met privately with each commissioner and told them of the appointment himself so they could hear it from him, said staffers.
“This will be disruptive,” Gov. Deal told the AJC. “But I am hopeful that the appointment of Commissioner May will make this as minimally disruptive as possible.”
May and Ellis have had several disputes over budgeting and taxes during May’s time on the commission. May is the commission’s budget chairman.
Ellis did not comment on the appointment, but his attorney J. Tom Morgan said the former CEO would devote his time to fighting the charges of theft, extortion and conspiracy.
Ellis can resume office if he is cleared at trial, but he can continue to receive his $150,000 salary until his trial is finished.
“He looks forward to getting his job back,” said Morgan.