D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - There was an unexpected turn of events in D'Iberville Tuesday as Bobby Eleuterius retracted his bid for city manager.
The announcement came just moments before the D'Iberville City Council was scheduled to appoint someone to the position. The likely choice was Eleuterius. However, after what he calls weeks of harsh media criticism, the former Harrison County supervisor said he no longer wants to be considered for the job.
"Again, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being able to apply," said Eleuterius. "That's all I ever asked for. But I respectfully decline this position."
"I wanted the job because I love the city. I help build this city and I was willing to take the job for $11,000 a year."
The starting salary for the position is $62,000 a year. But because of his retirement and social security income, the city would have paid the front-runner just $11,000 annually. Eleuterius said he has had a change of heart because of what he calls "bad press."
"It's been nothing but headaches of what's been put in the paper every week, and now I remember why I retired and got out of public office. Because the reports in the paper are just not right. And I stand behind all 33 years," Eleuterius said. "I've never been accused of anything and now my family and I are splattered all across this newspaper. It's simply wrong."
Eleuterius said he's been accused of being the mayor's campaign manager, something he denies. He is also upset about articles suggesting he's not qualified.
"I spent 33 years on the school board or either as a county supervisor doing the very thing I was applying for here," Eleuterius said.
Even with other city manger candidates in the room, council members and many residents pleaded with Eleuterius to reconsider.
"As a council member and as a voter, the citizens have spoken and they want you Mr. Bobby," said Furney. "And we know you will do a good job."
The council voted to table the appointment of the city manager position with the hope that Eleuterius may still reconsider.