A Twiggs County official whose computer was found to contain more than 1,300 images of adult pornography resigned Wednesday morning.
Glenn Barton, who was investigated for a year and a half by the GBI, resigned as county administrator in a letter sent to Twiggs County Commission Chairman Ray Bennett, according to County Attorney Tom Richardson.
Reached by phone Wednesday about the resignation, Barton said the letter is “all I’m prepared to acknowledge.”
Barton had worked for the county for about 10 years and was the first person to hold the county administrator position in Twiggs.
Commissioners originally set a special meeting for Tuesday to discuss the matter and let Barton speak for himself, but that meeting has been rendered moot with the resignation, Richardson said.
Barton wasn’t charged with any crime after the GBI investigation ended. No images of child pornography were found on the computer.
Barton also had been accused of running a personal business from his county office.
An investigation by Houston County assistant district attorney Amy E. Smith said those allegations were “basically unfounded.”
“Whatever transactions which may have occurred at his office did not interfere or impede the work for which he was being paid by Twiggs County,” Smith wrote, adding that the pornography wasn’t criminal.
Richardson said commissioners wanted to see if Barton had violated the county’s personnel policy by having the images on his computer. With the resignation, “there’s no reason to go any further,” Richardson said.
He said the county’s top priority is finding an interim administrator.
“What the county has to consider is bringing someone in real quickly,” he said. “We need to fill it on an interim basis and see who is available that can do it. It’s a big job.”
Barton’s resignation caught some commissioners off guard.
Commissioner Tommy Lee Bryant said Wednesday that he hadn’t spoken with anyone from the courthouse about it.
“I haven’t received (a copy of the letter),” Bryant said. “I got (the news) off the street.”
Commissioner Milton Sampson said Bennett informed him of the resignation earlier in the day.
“I was surprised,” he said. “I think it’s a bit unfortunate the way things happened here. I guess God knows best. It worked out the way it did, and it was probably for the best.”
Sampson said Bennett would oversee the county administrator position over the next few days until commissioners have a chance to meet and discuss an interim director. Sampson said the board would contact the Association County Commissioners of Georgia to advertise the job opening immediately.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.