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Bannister Resigns From Gwinnett Commission | News

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Bannister Resigns From Gwinnett Commission
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister resigned his post Friday morning, Gwinnett County officials confirmed to 11Alive News.

Bannister released the following statement about his resignation:

"It is with deep regret that I announce my immediate resignation as Chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners.

"While I am proud of Gwinnett County Government's many accomplishments over the past six years and had hoped to guide more of this Board's work to completion, I find myself near the end of an extremely trying year that has placed an undeserved strain on my family and has threatened my own health.

"I believe that stepping down at this time is necessary to preserve my family's well-being and will allow the important business of Gwinnett County to move forward without further distraction."

The resignation is in the midst of a grand jury investigation of  county land purchases. One of the land deals in question called for the county to pay $2.3 million for 33 acres adjacent to the 297 acre Palm Creek Park site. The price tag is more than double the $33,000 per acre suggested by a county-approved appraiser.

Bannister announced his resignation outside the room where the grand jury is meeting.

County Administrator Glenn Stephens also released a statement:

"Citizens should expect county government's normal day-to-day operations to continue during this transition period. Gwinnett County Government is a strong, well-managed organization comprised of capable leadership and employees, and they will keep the important work of county government moving forward.

"The Board's Vice-Chairman, Shirley Lasseter, is empowered to fulfill the Chairman's responsibilities when the position is vacant. Over the next several days, County staff will review state law to determine the timing and process for permanently filling the Chairman's seat."

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