Blountstown- During most of this year's campaign season, former Calhoun County Administrator, Sonny O'Bryan told us he had been hearing rumors that he was a "problem" and, "had to go".
"It became a campaign platform of almost everyone running for office" he explained. "It seemed like though, that I went from hero to goat overnight."
People who supported O'Bryan pointed to his most recent successes, like bringing the county more than $25 million in grant money in the past two years. And to the detractors who have called him brash and difficult to get along with, O'Bryan was unapologetic.
"I'm not a person who colors things up, I tell it like I see it" O'Bryan said. "It gets me in trouble. And I'm a 'shoot from the hip' type guy. I'd be better served to choose my words."
After commissioner's voted to do away with his County Administrator's job last week, O'Bryan made the decision to resign from his other positions. But, his letter of resignation wasn't read until after the commission had already voted 3-1 to fire him on Tuesday.
"I asked commissioner McDougald, 'do not read this letter until the board takes their action'" O'Bryan explained. "I wanted the public to see these three rookie county commissioners deal with this. And I was hoping that they would find strength in their bodies and minds to search for answers instead of conclusions and decide not to do this. But in the event they did, I wanted him to give [the letter] to them after the fact."
Right or wrong, O'Bryan's firing left Calhoun County with a large void.
"We got a ship that's already left port without a captain, without a pilot and without a navigator" he said. "We've got three rookie deckhands piloting a ship that they don't know where they're going to dock. And you know, I've been the pilot, the captain and the navigator for a long time. They left port without me."
Regardless of his personal situation, O'Bryan told us he was still worried about the citizens he used to serve.
"There's a lot of concerned people waiting to see how this is going to play out. Hopefully it plays out well. I don't want the county to suffer" he said.
Other county employees are slated to take over O'Bryan's responsibilities for solid waste, grants, emergency management, public safety and procurement.