UPDATE: Bannister resigns as Gwinnett chairman

Charles Bannister

Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister resigned on Friday, citing his health and his family’s well-being.

A number of media outlets reported that Bannister’s resignation comes amid a grand jury investigation into a number of county land deals.

“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,” Bannister said in a statement.

“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,” Bannister added.

Vice Chairman Shirley Lasseter will assume the chairman post on an interim basis.

“Although today’s resignation of Charles Bannister was unexpected, as vice-chair of the county commission, I am prepared to assume the roles required to keep Gwinnett County business moving forward during the process to permanently fill his seat,” Lasseter said in a statement.

Meanwhile, county officials promised a seamless transition period.

“Citizens should expect county government’s normal day-to-day operations to continue during this transition period,” County Administrator Glenn Stephens said in a statement. “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.”

This year proved to be a tumultuous one for Bannister. In June, he was charged with DUI, but the charges were later dropped after an investigation revealed Bannister was not under the influence while driving.

A controversial trash service for residents in unincorporated parts of Gwinnett County also took effect. Bannister, however, did survive a recall effort earlier this year.

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