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Lee May says he's considering resigning | News

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Lee May says he's considering resigning

LITHONIA, Ga. –  Lee May says he is seriously considering resigning as DeKalb County’s interim CEO, but made it clear Tuesday night that he would never quit because of what he calls false accusations against him and his leadership.

May appeared at a Town Hall meeting, before a packed house of mostly residents who support him, and he rebutted, point-by-point, charges against him in the blockbuster Bowers-Hyde report about waste and even corruption. That’s when he said he would never resign because of false accusations, saying that he stands fast when citizens confront him and demand his resignation -- "I'm not running from nobody." .

Later, May said he’s become what he never wanted to be: a distraction. He told reporters he and his wife are praying about whether it would be better for DeKalb for him to resign, and move on without him and his controversies being in the way.  He wants to consult with the Governor, who appointed him interim CEO two years ago.

"Unfortunately, the last couple of weeks I've become the very distraction that I've been seeking to remove," May said. "I don't want to be that. I love our county, I want our county to move forward. Whether it's with me or without me...that's in the Governor's hands."

DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester, on Tuesday, became one of the first public officials calling on May to resign now.

"I think that’s what we need for the county to heal, and to regain credibility with the residents and the business community in DeKalb County.... As soon as we could, if we could have a fresh start with a new CEO who is a professional manager for the county [not a politician], and eliminate the CEO position, have the [legislative] delegation do that as soon as they are in session in January, that would be a terrific development in DeKalb County, and it would be a signal to residents and businesses alike that DeKalb County is going to reform and is going to take seriously the problems that we have. "

May says for now he wants to lead efforts to clean up DeKalb County government, based in part on the allegations in the Bowers-Hyde report that he says got it wrong about him.



Here is what May said to reporters during a brief news conference Tuesday night following the Town Hall meeting, and he began by describing -- as he had put it earlier in the evening -- what a tough time it's been since the Bowers-Hyde report was released:

It’s been a challenging moment.  My wife is here, it’s been challenging for my wife and for our family.  And at the end of the day it’s been challenging for our county.  Again, when the Governor appointed me, I had two internal mandates.  One, was to make sure that the county’s day to day operation was moving efficiently, and the second one was to really restore the public’s confidence in our government, to diminish some of the distractions. And unfortunately in the last couple of weeks, I’ve become that very distraction that I’ve been seeking to remove.  And so I don’t want to be that.  I love our county.  I want our county to move forward, and whether it’s with me or without me.  I believe I have something positive to offer the county.  I believe we’ve been doing some tremendous work over the past two years.  And, yes, I would like to complete it.  But again, that’s in the Governor’s hands, and I’ll go based upon the will of our Governor.

I think I would have to clearly be able to see that I can -- under my leadership -- that the county can move forward and at the end of the day be better, at the end of my tenure here than before.  And I would have to be able to see that these distractions – let’s be clear, some people want there to be continued distractions.  DeKalb County is an awesome place to live, work and play.  Politically it’s important to the state, as well.  And we know that that’s a part of what’s going on here.  But, yet and still, I have to take ownership where there’s been issues, where I’ve not made the right decisions, I’ve made some mistakes, and I’ll own those.

My wife and I, we’ve been praying, we’ve been looking at our family situation.  That comes first.  The county is right there, as well, in terms of making sure that our county can move forward.  And so right now I am the Interim CEO, I’m still there, I’ve not made any decision to move otherwise, any decision otherwise I will discuss with the Governor himself.

Well the Governor appointed me, and the Governor can make any decision he chooses regarding my position here as Interim CEO.  And I respect him for his appointment, and I want to make sure I do a good job.

I don’t have any plans on meeting with the Governor, but I would like to talk to him at some point in the future just about our county as a whole, and anything that he’s concerned about.




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