ATLANTA—Sen. Emanuel Jones (D – Decatur) released the following statement today (March 14) in response to the recent resignations of the DeKalb County Board of Ethics members, urging the remaining members to resign:
“As the original author of the legislation that reestablished the DeKalb County Board of Ethics in 2020, I am extremely disappointed in the events that transpired which led to the resignation of the majority of their board members,” said Sen. Jones. “The actions of a few rogue members of the Ethics Board have cast a shadow on the board’s purpose. DeKalb is better than this. I call on all remaining members of the DeKalb County Board of Ethics to resign in order to establish an entirely new DeKalb County Board of Ethics, alleviating the risk of personal agendas and baggage interfering with the intended role of the DeKalb County Board of Ethics. Simply adding additional members to the existing board will not solve the overall problem at hand. This matter is urgent and I urge all remaining members of the DeKalb County Board of Ethics to resign effective immediately in order to build a stronger DeKalb.”
The appointing members of the Board of Ethics had issued a call seeking nominations to replace the five board members who resigned, leaving the board without a legal quorum. The board is supposed to have seven members and two alternates but has been plagued with turmoil to the point that the board do is unable to function.
Chairwoman Alex Joseph announced her resignation on Feb. 9, citing concerns over a culture of bullying and lack of transparency and accountability on the board—the same reasons other members say they resigned.
State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) and State Sen. Kim Jackson (D-Stone Mountain, joined with DeKalb County Clerk Debra DeBerry and DeKalb County Tax Commissioner Irvin Johnson to issue a call on March 9 for the nominations.
“As representatives of the appointing authorities for the DeKalb Ethics Board, we were disappointed to read recent press coverage about events leading to the resignation of five members of the Board of Ethics,” Rep. Drenner and Sen. Jackson stated in a news release. “Because the board is an independent agency, our only role here is to fill the vacancies. Therefore, we are actively seeking nominations for candidates to fill the five vacant positions. We look forward to filling these positions in an expedient manner and expect all board members to return to their very important work in good faith.”