Long Time Calhoun County Official Removed From Several Positions

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Blountstown- For over a decade Sonny O'Bryan has worn many hats for Calhoun County. He's been the Grants Coordinator and Emergency Management Director in addition to his job as County Administrator..

"For Calhoun County [O'Bryan's] brought in a tremendous amount of money for this County. You have to look at the big picture" Commissioner, Darrell McDougald said.

But for the past two weeks, O'Bryan's jobs have been in limbo. The County Administrator position was eliminated entirely during a previous board meeting, but that was only the beginning of many changes to come.

Tuesday, McDougald read a letter on behalf of O'Bryan, stating his resignation.

"Dear Chairman Flowers and County Commissioners" the letter stated,
"Due to the controversy that my continued employment has created, consider this my resignation from employment with Calhoun County effective December 31, 2012."

But the letter was read a little too late. Earlier in the meeting, Commissioner Lee Shelton proposed a motion to terminate the remainder of O'Bryan's positions.

"I hate to see Sonny go- I really do" Shelton said, "but Mr. Chairman, I'd like to make a motion to let Mr. Sonny O'Bryan go as our public works director."

Some commissioners told us O'Bryan's reputation for having a brash personality was partially to blame for the ousting.

"It's been a long going issue with the County" Shelton told us. "It's something people's been wanting. We hired a man two and a half years ago to take his job, and a lot of people felt like there was a lot of lack".

But November's election brought a board full of new faces, and some believed that also played a role in O'Bryan termination.

"I just felt like it was a political movement. I felt like the new guys did what they thought was right, but I also believe there's a lot of inexperience in the board. And, I feel like if they had waited until they had been a little more experienced as county commissioners the outcome would have been a little different" McDougald.

The board has appointed other county employees to take on the tasks O'Bryan had been overseeing. In the past two years O'Bryan brought the county over $25 million in grant funding.

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