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Lawrence County engineer resigns

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

MOULTON — Lawrence County residents may never know the accusations that caused the County Commission to place the former county engineer on administrative leave.

Gordon O'Neal submitted his resignation Monday, two weeks after the commission voted to put him on leave with pay pending an investigation.

The commission made the decision following a 45-minute executive session with Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell. They did not release any information in order to protect the engineer's "good name and character."

Following O'Neal's resignation, Mitchell said the Sheriff's Department conducted a "cursory investigation" for the county administration but would not be pursuing any charges.

The sheriff, commissioners and the county attorney said they were legally not allowed to provide any information regarding O'Neal's leave or resignation.

O'Neal's letter to the commission was short but courteous. It read, "It has been my pleasure to work as the county engineer for twenty-six months. Should additional help be needed to complete the smooth transition of this action, please contact me at your leisure."

He did not return calls from The Daily requesting comment Monday.

The commission has temporarily placed Ronald Burke, a lead foreman for the county, in the engineer position. It approved a motion to advertise for an engineer Monday.

"We need one as quick as possible because we're working on federal projects," said Chairman Mose Jones.

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