DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond has announced he has made two hires to focus on watershed management and the county’s decree with federal and state environmental agencies, according to a press release.
Ted Rhinehart has been hired as deputy chief operating officer for infrastructure. Rhinehart will serve in this top supervisory role for Watershed Management, Sanitation, Roads and Drainage, Transportation, Public Libraries, Fleet Management and Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Cooperative Extension and the Beautification Unit, according to a press release.
Rhinehart was in this same role of deputy officer for infrastructure in 2010. That was the year the county entered into a consent decree with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division over major sewage improvements after overflows of untreated sewage. In 2010, water rates were hiked 11 percent.
Former DeKalb County district attorney Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is the county’s new consultant to represent the CEO in all matters concerning DeKalb County’s consent decree with the EPA and the Georgia EPD, according to the press release. Keyes Fleming will provide non-legal support in creating strategy for compliance with the consent decree and in future negotiations with the EPA and EPD. She also will create and implement strategies for community engagement.
From the press release:
Rhinehart has more than 27 years of experience in municipal government management and most recently served as the deputy city administrator for the Augusta, Ga. Rhinehart worked for the cities of Bloomington, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Indiana. He has specialized in the areas of water and wastewater utilities, public works, parks and transportation services, as well as capital project management, financing and environmental compliance.
From 2010 to 2013, Keyes Fleming served as the first African American and first female regional administrator for the EPA. In 2013, she became the EPA’s chief of staff, in which she served until 2015. Keyes Fleming was DeKalb’s district attorney from 2005-2010 and solicitor-general from 1999-2004. Keyes Fleming’s most recent position was principal legal advisor for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement division, from May 2015 to January 2017.