BLOUNTVILLE — The Sullivan County Commission voted Monday to appoint Bobbie Manning to serve as interim highway commissioner for the next five months, until voters go to the polls in August.
Two names are in the running: Manning, who has been temporarily in charge at the county highway department as named successor to Terry Shaffer, who retired in December; and Jim Belgeri, who promised commissioners earlier Monday that his appointment would eliminate a threatened lawsuit from some employees fired by Manning in January.
When the commission met on Jan. 21, a total of four men were nominated for the appointment before commissioners voted to delay a decision until this month.
The other two — Ronnie Hubble and former county commissioner Dwight King — were withdrawn from consideration Monday morning at their own requests.
County residents who wonder why a majority of commissioners picked Manning over Belgeri will have to ask individual commissioners — no public discussion took place immediately before the vote.
Manning's appointment came after the commission met behind closed doors with County Attorney Dan Street, after ordering the public and the media to leave the room.
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