Derek Rogers is Fort Oglethorpe's newest city councilman — effective immediately.
Monday night the council appointed him to temporarily fill former Councilman Charles Sharrock's seat, which has been vacant since November 2012 when Sharrock was ousted over sexual harassment claims. Rogers was sworn in after the meeting.
Recent revisions to the city's charter, which were recommended by a committee appointed by Georgia state Sen. Jeff Mullis and state Rep. Tom Weldon, allow for temporary appointments to the council when a member has been suspended, said City Manager Ron Goulart. Rogers' appointment is only valid until Sharrock's current litigation is resolved, he said. Sharrock is in the process of appealing his removal from office to the Georgia Supreme Court.
"We had six people that applied [for the temporary appointment,"]Councilman Earl Gray said. "I think all six were very qualified individuals, but unfortunately we can only appoint one. With that being said, I make a motion to appoint Derek Rogers to the temporary council seat."
Councilman Craig Crawford seconded the motion, and the council voted unanimously, excluding Councilwoman Paula Stinnett who acted as the body's chairwoman in Mayor Lynn Long's absence.
Goulart would not release the names of the others seeking consideration for appointment but confirmed there were six total. He said Rogers will earn approximately $700 per month along with the option for benefits while serving on the council. Sharrock is still drawing the same $8,500 annual salary other council members receive and city benefits while litigation continues, Goulart said.
Prior to his appointment, Rogers unsuccessfully ran for City Council in 2011 when he lost to Johnnie "Red" Smith. He currently helps administer the Website restoreforto.com.
Rogers said he has not yet decided if he will run for the seat permanently when the opportunity arises.
Email Rachel Sauls-Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.