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Brunswick pays two salaries for one commission seat

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Updated: 5/23/2013 6:57 pm
BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Action News has learned taxpayers are being forced to pay two salaries to fill one local position.
Brunswick Commissioner James Brooks is accused of interfering with the investigation into the March SLAYING of Brunswick baby, Antonio Santiago. Glynn County investigators SAID Brooks prevented investigators from talking with suspects, connected to the accused teen killer. He's also on suspension for racketeering charges, in a separate case.

The city is looking for a temporary replacement, but it won't come cheaply. Leaders will have to write two checks, one for the yet-to-be named replacement and another for Brooks, who is still getting paid even while on suspension.

However, Mayor Bryan Thompson said it won't break the bank.

"We would be looking at essentially $6,000 to $7,000 in additional expenses which are no problem whatsoever with the City of Brunswick and with our budget," said  Thompson.

That's $7,000 extra over the next six months. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will begin interviewing candidates for the position after May 31, which is the deadline to apply. It's a hiring process some in the county want to change.

"Just that fact that it's never come up, I think everyone was taken a little off guard with," said City Manager Bill Weeks.

Weeks told Action News there's been some discussion to find ways for the city to select a candidate, instead of the governor.

"It might all turn out that we see how it goes and what we come out with, and consider whether it needs to be changed at all," he said.

Thompson said Brooks will not be includes in those talks, since he has no voting rights.

Brooks' suspension won't be lifted until either his charges are dropped, or his term ends on Dec. 31.  Brooks has mentioned seeking re-election.

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