Albany - A Dougherty County Commissioner facing health problems and criminal indictments resigns. Brenda Robinson-Cutler has served as the representative for District three since 2000. In recent months, however, she has missed almost all commission meetings due to poor health, and has even been hospitalized. She made today's meeting, and delivered a shocking announcement.
Cutler says, "Commissioners, I am glad to be back." Just as Brenda Robinson-Cutler returned to her District three seat, she dropped a bombshell on fellow commissioners. She says, "I have an announcement to make. I will resign effective December 1st due to health reasons."
Poor health has kept Cutler away from meetings for about three months now. In the past two months, she has had five surgeries, and now is on an all liquid diet, that she must take through a feeding tube. "I'm not going to get very much better."
She says she needs to focus on her health, and can't serve District three the way she feels is necessary while undergoing treatment. "I just want to make sure that district three is taken care of."
Commissioner Lamar Hudgins seemed shell-shocked by the announcement. He says, "I don't think anybody was expecting that. We'll miss her very much."
He says commissioners are very close to one another, and he's sad to see Cutler go. "We respect each other, and we love each other, we're fond of each other, and so it's tough to see one leave."
But just because she's down on her health, don't count her out. "Oh, I'm coming back. If it's the Lord's will, I'll be back someday," says Cutler. "I'll still do good deeds for district three and the citizens of Albany-Dougherty County."
Robinson-Cutler's husband, Don Cutler, served as District three commissioner before he died awaiting a heart transplant in 1999. She ran to fill that seat, and took office in 2000. Cutler's term expires in December 2008. A special election will be held to fill the vacancy, probably in March.
In addition to her medical problems, Cutler is also dealing with criminal charges. She is charged with 13 counts of theft and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. She's accused of hiring family and friends while she worked at the Albany Advocacy Resource Center in 2001 and 2002, and stealing money from clients. Her trial is scheduled for January 8th.
Cutler says those indictments did not influence her ability to serve as commissioner or her decision to resign. She says, "It has nothing to do with the negativity that's been stated, regarding any indictments. That has nothing to do with it, it only has to do with my health."
Cutler's trial is scheduled for January 8th. Her resignation goes into effect December 1st.