Chairman says Lasseter's seat must be filled by special election

John Heard

John Heard

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.


R 2 years, 10 months ago

With parties running for the full term in July, I wonder how much the "special election" winner would be compensated. It would be sweet if they got the full year worth…

Apparently, once again Gwinnett is on the "wrong" side of the cutting edge which is GA. law.


Karl 2 years, 10 months ago


Do you ever read your comments before you click 'Post reply'

Your stuff makes sense about 50% of the time. The above is not one of those times.


R 2 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for calling me Propeller by the way!


R 2 years, 10 months ago

Well, I could pull a Floyd and attempt to insult you, but if you can't see the overall irony of the required election timelines and expenses we are incurring here - we will just agree to disagree...

This stuff belongs on Jon Stewart's Daliy Show...


rco1847 2 years, 10 months ago

Makes you wonder who else planned to be in on the importation of drugs to Briscoe Field. I think they should bid on the country jail which may be better suited to their talents. Shriley Lasseter could manage it for them. Now Fly Gwinnet Backwards will have to find another way to get thier contraband into the county.


CD 2 years, 10 months ago

Fly Backwards/Brett/et al. certainly were not counting on the specifics of a sound business plan to steal the airport form the citizens, so exactly what were they counting on? Perhaps Beaudreau would like to answer that.


Katrina 2 years, 9 months ago

I have noticed ever since the 12 Stone Church meeting that Propeller, Fly Gwinnett Backwards, and their ilk were ALWAYS short on specifics. They'd continually say that we needed to "wait for all the facts," and then they'd provide NO facts. Now we find out that the proposal also provided few, if any, facts. Were they just lazy, or were they so sure that this was a done deal that they just put no effort into it?


Susan 2 years, 9 months ago

So on top of everything else, Shirley is going to cost taxpayers a special election. With 156 polling places that EACH cost about $1000 in workers' salaries alone, plus paper products and supplies, and another minimum of $1000 per day to staff early voting sites, well, do the math......


Katrina 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes, and we'll have someone elected for District 1's next term before we have someone elected to finish out Shirley's current term!


Mack711 2 years, 9 months ago

And for that amount of money bet that less than 15% show up to vote!


R 2 years, 9 months ago

Is Teepee from district 1? Now that would be entertainment ....


CD 2 years, 9 months ago

Agreed. minute-by-minute election forecasts/results and platform updates. Perhaps she can get a job with Landmark.

I stubbed my toe yesterday and I thought to myself: now there is no way that would have happened if the Briscoe Fiasco had come to fruition.


Sign in to comment