Catoosa County manager resigns

Catoosa County Manager Mike Helton

RINGGOLD, Ga. -- Catoosa County Commissioner Bobby Winters did not expect a phone call from his county manager Wednesday.

Winters, who is on vacation this week, had just spoken with Mike Helton two days earlier. Helton had told Winters what he would be missing at this week's County Commission meeting. Then, on Wednesday, he had more news.

"I turned in my letter of resignation," Helton said, according to Winters.

"Do what?" Winters responded. "What do you mean?"

He and other commissioners did not expect Helton to step down, but Helton told most of them on Tuesday morning that he was leaving. He told other county employees Wednesday.

"It really did come as a surprise," said Commissioner Jim Cutler. "I had no inkling that was going to take place."

Helton did not return calls seeking comment this week.