DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- On Monday, Lee May kicks off his first full week as interim CEO of DeKalb County.
May was sworn in last Tuesday after Gov. Nathan Deal followed a panel's recommendation to suspend Burrell Ellis from office. Ellis faces extortion charges after being accused of using his position to force county vendors to contribute to his reelection campaign.
May will hold the position through Ellis' term, which runs through 2016, unless Ellis is acquitted.
May told 11Alive News that he plans to begin winning back DeKalb residents' trust by performing "the basic things that people pay their taxes for," such as filling potholes, picking up trash and making sure police respond when they are called.
"I think as we continue to do what we've been called to do as county government, they will begin to have that trust restored," he said.
DeKalb County is one the only municipalities in Georgia to have a CEO. May has been outspoken of his desire to get rid of the position.
"I believe that, for consistency's sake, we need to be like the other 158 counties" in Georgia that do not have CEOs, he said. "Our form of government breeds conflict ... There have always been issues between the two branches of government, and I think the people of DeKalb suffer as a result."
May has served as an elected official for seven years and was the youngest person elected to the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners when he won in 2006.