Port Wentworth City Council looking to fill two top spots

PORT WENTWORTH, GA (WTOC) - A leadership shake-up inside Port Wentworth City Hall has council members there looking to potentially fill two top spots: city attorney and city administrator.

Council members gathered Monday evening for a workshop ahead of Thursday meeting. We spoke to Interim City Attorney, James Coursey, who says he's filling the post until council can meet and consider him for the role permanently.

As for long-time city administrator Phillip Claxton, Coursey wouldn't say much on the record other than Claxton's resignation has yet to be considered during a full council meeting.

Last week, Port Wentworth Mayor Gary Norton was quoted in a newspaper article last week saying council members demanded he ask for Claxton's resignation and accepted it. Monday, he wouldn't say anything, adding that he'd been advised by the interim city attorney not to comment on the issue anymore.

As for the motivation behind wanting to oust the city administrator of 17 years, that's still not clear, but it's a move that's definitely on the mind of council members.

"I don't believe he resigned, I believe he was put on administrative leave, which is a big difference, but still, I was blindsided. It was a personnel action that was taken care of without the full council. I cannot say enough good about Mr. Claxton. He is a walking encyclopedia for the city; excellent, excellent worker in the city," said Linda Smith, Port Wentworth Councilwoman - At-Large.

Again, the vote on this personnel issue and to determine whether or not they'll keep Claxton happens this Thursday.

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