Sullivan County

Manning appointed interim highway commissioner

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - Bobby Manning, the man at the center of controversy surrounding the Sullivan County Highway Department will remain Interim Highway Commissioner.

This comes after Sullivan County Commissioners voted Monday to keep Manning in the position he's held since late December.

After months of controversy Bobby Manning is sworn in as the Interim Commissioner of Highways in Sullivan County.

Monday's vote by the County Commission comes after controversy including the termination of seven highway department employees and Manning's struggle to get bonded.

Manning says Monday's 15-6 vote comes as a relief. "Got a little energy from that vote and I want to thank everybody and I want to assure everybody I'm going to do the best job that I can," he said.

Commissioners picked Manning over Jim Belgeri; both men are running for the spot in May's primaries.

But until the voters have the chance to choose it's up to the commissioners. "I think the commissioners need to send a favorable recommendation over with whoever is going to be the interim highway commissioner so the commissioner employees know we support that individual," says Commissioner John Crawford.

Manning will be in charge at least until August, when the election takes place. "I know that the guys over at the Highway Department have all been wanting me to know when this is all over with so they can be relieved and we can put all this behind us and do the job that we were hired to do," says Manning.

Jason Booher, the Administrator of Elections in Sullivan County, says four people are on the ballot running for highway commissioner in May's election, three Republicans and one Democrat.

Election Day is May 6.

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