Longtime public administrator Richard Stogner is returning to DeKalb County as chief operating officer/executive assistant for CEO Burrell Ellis for a year, replacing Keith Barker, who was fired for having an extramarital affair with a worker in the county’s Watershed Management Department.

Stogner’s appointmenet, which was confirmed by the DeKalb commission Sept. 14, will be for one year. He has asked not to receive compensation for his services during his term in office, since he is already receiving a pension from the county.

Larry Johnson, chief presiding officer of the Board of Commissioners, praised Ellis for his nomination. “We need a nuts-and-bolts guy who knows DeKalb County government top to bottom. With the budget and key hiring decisions before us, I would support Richard Stogner as COO, and I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners as we move ahead,” Johnson said.

In addition to overseeing day-to-day operations, Stogner will focus on developing recommendations for filling current administrative vacancies, preparing the 2011 fiscal budget recommendations and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of county operations throughout DeKalb.

Stogner served eight years in the same position under former CEO Vernon Jones before retiring in January 2009, when Ellis took over as CEO. Stogner also previously served as an executive for several Atlanta mayors and also for Fulton County.

Barker earned $200,000 a year as COO. Under the terms of his contract, he will receive $100,000 for being terminated from the position. Barker, who is married with children, admitted his affair with Dana TraBue, an administrative assistant who is single, after she exposed their relationship to the media. She said she became upset with Barker because he did not follow through on giving her a promotion.