published Thursday, March 28th, 2013

LaFayette city manager Frank Etheridge resigns

The LaFayette, Ga., city manager quit Tuesday, but neither the mayor nor city council members will say why.

Frank Etheridge was hired in October 2011 to oversee city operations, but he has been embroiled in controversy over his firing of key city officials.

"I liked him, but that was just me," said Bill Craig, a former councilman. "I am sorry that it happened this quick."

Efforts to reach Etheridge were unsuccessful.

Before working for LaFayette, Etheridge had held four jobs in 11 years. He had been suspended once and asked to resign.

In September 2012, Etheridge fired Main Street and Economic Development Director Catherine Edgemon. The next week, three members of the five-member Historic Preservation Committee resigned over Edgemon's dismissal.

She now has brought a complaint against Etheridge, but LaFayette Mayor Neal Florence said the complaint has nothing to do with his resignation.

He said the city council called for Etheridge to leave his post after an executive session Monday night.

Wayne Swanson, who has been a city councilman for 16 years, said the resignation had to do with personnel issues.

"I can't say much about it," Swanson said. "It is something that came up, and it's not something we can say anything about until we get all the facts together."

More details will come out in the next few days, he said.

about Joan Garrett McClane...

Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...

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