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Cumming welcomes new city councilman
sorrells
Interim member Doug Sorrells, center, is sworn in to the Cummintg City Council by Judge Richard Neville, right, as wife Remelba looks on Tuesday night. - photo by For the FCN

CUMMING — Doug Sorrells became the first new member on the Cumming City Council in more than 20 years when he was sworn in Tuesday night.

It was the first of what likely will be just two meetings for Sorrells, who is serving as an interim appointee until the June 16 election to fill the remaining 18 months on the Post 1 term of longtime Councilman Rupert Sexton.

Sexton stepped down last month to enjoy retirement after 44 years in office. Four candidates are vying for the post, but they do not include Sorrells.

Mayor H. Ford Gravitt said he has known Sorrells, who served as Forsyth County’s clerk of courts from 1996-2008, his whole life.

“When I called Doug and asked him if he would accept … until the permanent official could be elected, he said on one condition,” Gravitt said. “I said, ‘Oh well, what’s that Doug?’ He said, ‘I don’t want any money.’”

Sorrells chose not to seek re-election as court clerk seven years ago. He has since served as the local Republican Party representative on the county’s elections board from June 2010 until February, when he resigned due to health concerns.

“It’s an honor for me,” Sorrells said. “I’ve always admired the council for what you’ve done and improvements made in the city, and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”

Also during the meeting, the council voted to:

* Terminate the impeachment proceedings against Sexton. City Attorney Dana Miles said that since Sexton was no longer in office, the impeachment was unnecessary.

“As a result of the resignation of Rupert Sexton, the impeachment proceedings against him are moot and I respectfully request the motion terminating those proceeds,” he said.

Sexton became the focus of an impeachment investigation by his fellow councilmen earlier this year after a list of city employees’ personal insurance and financial information appeared on social media.

The mayor accused Sexton of releasing the employees’ information in December as retaliation for not being able to secure lifetime city health benefits for his wife and the other councilmen’s spouses.

The city’s position is that the list should not have been released. Sexton has denied leaking it, but maintains the information was a matter of public record and not as personal as others have portrayed it.

* Refurbish the clock in the mini park near downtown Cumming. The work, which will include a new motor and paint, will be handled by White’s Clock and Carillon for about $4,050.