LAWRENCEVILLE -- Shirley Lasseter's resignation has altered the dynamics of the Gwinnett County Board of Commission.
Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said in an email Friday that because it occurred with more than 180 days left in the term, which expires Dec. 31, the seat must be filled by special election, not appointment.
"The special election will likely not be held with the July 31 primary," Nash said. "The timetable is just too short to allow all the necessary steps to be completed in time for the start of absentee voting in June."
Nash said Gwinnett County staff is reviewing other options, and conferring with state officials. Gwinnett County spokesman Joe Sorenson said an official announcement is expected early next week.
Lasseter, who represented District 1, an area that includes Suwanee and Duluth, resigned on Thursday when she admitted to accepting a total of $36,500 in bribes in exchange for her vote in favor of a proposed pawn shop on Boggs Road near Duluth.
The resignation leaves the BOC with four members: Nash and commissioners Mike Beaudreau, John Heard and Lynette Howard.
That creates the possiblity of tie votes, and a failure for an item to pass, since it takes three affirmative votes to pass a measure.
"We will deal with those situations one-by-one if they occur," Nash said. "Bottom-line, we have to conduct the business of the county, and I am certainly going to do my best to ensure that we meet our responsibilities. I expect the other commissioners to be committed to doing the same thing."
Nash said the public has a right to be skeptical about the Board of Commissioners.
"So we must work even harder going forward," she said. "If there is any other corruption or wrongdoing like this associated with Gwinnett County, I hope that it is uncovered soon, so that it can be rooted out."
Heard said the dynamics of the BOC are good, and added, "We are all working for the same thing: A better Gwinnett."
Nash was elected in March 2011 following the resignation of Charles Bannister.
Nash worked in various positions within Gwinnett County government for 27 years, including nine years as the county administrator.
Heard and Howard were elected in 2010, and Beaudreau is the longest-serving commissioner, first elected in 2004.
Heard, who represents District 4, the northeast part of the county, is a former three-term state representative who is a practicing architect and owns his own firm.
Howard, who represents the southwestern part of the county in District 2, was previously a program developer and specialist at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center. She also worked for eight years as a research chemist for Puritan Chemical Company.
Beaudreau, who represents District 3, which covers much of southern and eastern Gwinnett, had considered running for a new House seat, but announced in February he would seek to continue his role on the commission. He is a a national accounts manager for Ricoh Corporation.