The Floyd County Board of Elections terminated Chief Elections Clerk Robert Brady during a called meeting Thursday, citing two reprimands in the past six months.
Brady was not present at the meeting and has been in quarantine for the past week after a possible COVID-19 exposure.
At the beginning of the meeting the board entered into a closed session, which is allowed under Georgia law for a few specific purposes. That closed session, in order to discuss personnel, lasted for over an hour and was followed by a motion to reprimand Brady “on the basis of repeated failure to meet performance objectives,” Elections Board member John Scott Husser said.
This was the second reprimand for Brady within six months. He was earlier reprimanded after an argument involving a member of the public during an elections board meeting.
“There are a number of people in the community who have had grave concerns about Mr. Brady’s conduct of his office since June,” Rome City Commissioner Wendy Davis said. “I’m saddened that we had to have this complicated and messy election result to bring forward a new director in the elections office, but I think the elections board made the only decision they could logically make today.”
The firing also comes after Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger called for Brady to step down earlier this week after an audit found approximately 3,000 ballots in the presidential race weren’t counted.
“Mr. Brady is a good guy who did a bad job of managing the election,” Floyd County GOP Chair Luke Martin said. “I don’t think he’s the only one at fault, but I appreciate the board taking a step in the right direction.”
Elections Board Chair Tom Rees said they haven’t made a decision about who will oversee the Senate runoff in Floyd County on Jan. 5 — or early voting and weekend voting periods prior to that date.
Rees said they expect to make a final decision soon. They’re tossing around the ideas of hiring someone as interim chief clerk for the runoff or getting a permanent replacement. He also said they are considering asking elections office clerk Vanessa Waddell to serve as interim chief clerk until the runoff is over.
Whichever they choose, Rees said the Floyd County Commission would be the ones to have the final vote on the hiring of a permanent replacement for Brady.