BLACKSHEAR — Blackshear Mayor Dick Larson resigned Wednesday at noon by submitting a letter to City Clerk Susan Fowler.
Mayor Pro-Tem Keith Brooks will serve as acting mayor until a special election can be held to fill the remaining three years of Larson’s term.
The letter, hand-written and signed by Larson, reads:
“I hereby resign from my position as mayor of the City of Blackshear effective immediately. Unfortunately the personal attacks by law enforcement and fake news makes it impossible to govern our great city. I leave with only the best wishes for the continued success of Blackshear and its employees.”
Larson was in the first year of his second term having easily defeated long-time council member Mary Lott Walker in an election 10 months ago.
A strained relationship between Larson and Blackshear Police Chief Chris Wright was a key factor in his decision to leave office.
Through close friends, Larson related a reluctance to comment further at this time on advice of his counsel, pledging that he looks forward to speaking at the appropriate time in the future.
The atmosphere around Blackshear City Hall reportedly became increasingly stressful since rumors surfaced regarding a Georgia insurance commissioner’s office investigation of the business dealings of Larson’s daughter, Dana Larson Bowen. She has stood accused of law violations over the past 14 months and the rumor mill has maintained that the mayor expected preferential treatment for her by the City of Blackshear Police Department.
On Aug. 16, the mayor and Chief Wright had a sharp exchange of words during a city council meeting regarding a request that the city buy firearms for the police department, pushing their dispute into a heated exchange in public.
Larson was critical because the purchase request had not been discussed with him prior to the meeting.
Contacted this morning, Wright declined a chance to comment on Larson’s resignation.
“I just don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment,” said Wright. “I have nothing further.”
Wright did say, however, that he denies the comments Larson made in the resignation letter blaming personal attacks by law enforcement.
“There’s been no personal attacks,” said Wright. “We have only done what the law requires us to do. I deny any kind of personal attacks.”