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News County commission chair resigns after DWI

Brian McClellanMcClellan resigns following second DWI in two years.

Brian McClellan, Chairman of Macon County’s Board of Commissioners, submitted his letter of resignation last week after being arrested for a DWI in Jackson County on Nov. 18. McClellan’s resignation will become effective on Thursday, Dec. 1.

“I am resigning my position as the District 1 representative on the Macon County Board of Commissioners. This will give the county time to complete any immediate business before I vacate the seat,” wrote McClellan in his resignation letter. “I must refocus my priorities on my family and personal issues. Serving Macon County has been a high honor, and I am grateful for the opportunity. At this time I need to concentrate all of my energies on taking care of those things and people most dear to me.”

Commissioner McClellan was arrested by a North Carolina Highway Patrolman at approximately 9:27 p.m. while traveling on US 23 South in Dillsboro. The affidavit states that McClellan was swerving back and forth across the median at an approximate speed of 40mph, prompting the stop.

Upon approaching McClellan’s vehicle, the trooper wrote that he smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle. After his arrest, McClellan blew a .20 in his intoxilyzer test, more than double the North Carolina legal limit of .08. The trooper said that McClellan was very cooperative during and after the arrest. In addition to the DWI charge, McClellan was charged with reckless and careless driving. He was released on a $1,000 unsecured bond and will appear in Jackson County Court on Jan. 30, 2012. McClellan was previously arrested on August 6, 2009 for a DWI in Highlands. He later pled guilty to the charge and completed 24 hours of community service and received a provisional driver’s license.

“Brian is a really good person and he was a great commissioner to work with,” said county manager Jack Horton. I’ve worked with him since 2008 and it was a pleasure. He always had the best interest of the county in mind, always. I am sorry this happened. It is unfortunate. We wish him well.”

Brian McClellan was elected to the Board of Commissioners in November of 2006. He graduated from the University of South Carolina and earned a doctorate degree from Clemson University. McClellan currently works as a financial advisor for Edward Jones. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary club, where he served as President from 2006-2007.

McClellan represented the Board on the Child and Family Council, Criminal Justice Partnership, Highlands TDC, Juvenile Crime Prevention Committee, Solid Waste Advisory Board, and Watershed Review Board. He was serving his second term on the Board.

As required by state statute, Macon County’s Republican Party has to replace McClellan’s seat within the next 30 days. The Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Thursday, Dec. 1 to accept Mc- Clellan’s resignation.

The Macon County Republican Party Executive Committee will meet Monday, Dec. 5 at the Macon County Courthouse to decide on a replacement. The executive committee includes officers of the party, precinct chairs and vice-chairs, at large committee members, elected officials affiliated with the county’s Republican Party, and the county GOP’s Finance Committee Chairman. The committee will announce their selection for McClellan’s replacement after the meeting, and the Board of Commissioners will likely vote on the committee’s nomination at their regular scheduled meeting on Dec. 13. The nominee will represent the first district of Highlands for the remainder of McClellan’s term, which will end in 2014.

Commissioner Bobby Kuppers, a Democrat, is the Board’s current vice-chairman. Kuppers will preside over the special meeting on Thursday, Dec. 1, when the Board will accept McClellan’s resignation. The Board of Commissioners will vote on a new chairman and vice-chairman at their regular scheduled meeting on Dec. 13. State statutes do not require the chairman to be in the majority party, but if commissioners vote along party lines the new chairman will be a Republican commissioner. Commissioners Ron Haven and Kevin Corbin currently represent the Republican Party on the Board.

“He was a hard working commissioner,” said McClellan’s colleague Ronnie Beale. Beale and McClellan were both elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2006. “Everything he brought before the board was well thought out. He always had the citizens of Macon County at heart. I wish him and his family well.”


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