Eaby resigns seat on Kent Levy Court

Levy Court Commissioner Bradley Eaby

Bradley Eaby

DOVER — Kent County Levy Court Commissioner Bradley Eaby, a Democrat who represents the Second District, announced his resignation at Tuesday night’s Levy Court meeting.

Effective midnight Dec. 26, he will vacate his seat with two years remaining in his term to take a position with the state.

“I’ll be starting a new job as a Department of Justice deputy attorney general in the Civil Division representing the Delaware Department of Transportation,” Mr. Eaby said.

A special election will be held next year to fill his seat on the Levy Court board, officials said.

Levy Court spokeswoman Kia Evans said the Levy Court’s loss is DelDOT’s gain.

“It’s bittersweet for Kent County Levy Court,” said Ms. Evans. “Although we are tremendously excited for him, we will miss his legal prowess, professional temperament and overall guidance. DelDOT has truly grabbed a rising star.”

After Mr. Eaby’s resignation the Levy Court will maintain a majority of Democrats over Republicans by a 4-2 margin.

Although unexpected, First District Commissioner and Levy Court President Brooks Banta said he and County Administrator Michael Petit de Mange were made aware a few days in advance.

“Brad has served with dignity and pride which really represents what Kent County is all about,” added Mr. Banta. “It was an absolute honor to serve with him and we certainly wish him the best in his new endeavors.”

Mr. Eaby said he became aware of the Department of Justice position at some point in October, shortly after an unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor this year.

“The news of the position was released through the Kent County Bar Association, that’s how I saw it,” he said.

Sworn in as a Levy Court commissioner in January 2007, Mr. Eaby resigns with almost 10 years of service. Though he hasn’t hinted at a recommended successor, he does have certain hopes.

“We just started thinking about it and we’d like to see someone with the right skill set, but also someone who brings some diversity to the (Levy) court in terms of gender and race,” he said. “We don’t have any names to state at this point, but we’re brainstorming.”

The Levy Court has two methodologies for filling a seat vacated mid-term, said Mr. Banta.

“The first is appointing someone, which we won’t do,” he said. “The second is to hold a special election, which we will do.”

Mr. Petit de Mange noted that although it’s somewhat rare for a Levy Court Comissioner to vacate a seat mid-term it does happen now and then.

“I can personally recall two cases,” he said. “In 1995 the untimely passing of then-Levy Court Commissioner Pat Lynn in the middle of his term resulted in a special election.

“And more recently in 2006 Don Blakey, who was in the middle of his Levy Court term, was elected to the House of Representatives in January of 2007 so we had to have a special election then as well.”

Echoing praise for Mr. Eaby’s performance, Mr. Petit de Mange said he often brought a “positive and calming” demeanor to Levy Court which will be missed.

The election is to be held sometime within the next six months. Mr. Banta speculates candidates will likely announce for the seat some time in the next 30 days.

“Eaby will do very well, he could not have picked a better employer and he did the right thing,” said Mr. Banta. “Momentarily, we’ll operate with six commissioners.”

Reach staff writer Ian Gronau at igronau@newszap.com

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