DeKalb County

DeKalb watershed director alleged ‘unlawful actions' in Tuesday resignation

Scott Towler

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — In addition to the massive water main break that has crippled operations, DeKalb County is facing accusations of illegal activity from its Watershed Management director who resigned on Tuesday.

Scott Towler submitted a scathing two-page letter to the county’s deputy chief operating officer, Ted Rhinehart. In it, he accused Rhinehart and the county CEO of urging him to make decisions that violate federal and state laws and leaving him out of meetings and decision-making once he resisted.

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"I have no choice but to resign this position -- despite significant impact to my life and my family -- because of the ongoing retaliatory actions by you and CEO Mike Thurmond in response to my refusal to violate the law and participate in unlawful activities in the operation of DWM, especially those who are a violation of the county's Consent Decree and federal and state environmental laws," Towler wrote.
DeKalb officials did not respond to the allegations in Towler's letter but released a statement acknowledging his resignation.

“Mr. Scott Towler’s resignation as director of Watershed Management for DeKalb County has been accepted by Zach Williams, the county’s Chief Operating Officer, effective March 16, 2018. A search will be conducted immediately for a new director of Watershed Management,” the statement said.

This story was written by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.