“I got the impression that she wasn’t going to go forward with that,” he said.
The effort to remove Shakir took a circuitous path. On the commission’s consent agenda was a resolution from Abdur-Rahman to do so and replace him with former East Point Mayor Earnestine Pittman. When commissioners took up the consent agenda near the start of Wednesday’s meeting, Abdur-Rahman asked for her resolution to be held.
Shakir spoke during the meeting’s public comment period. With his removal seemingly off the table, he didn’t address it, instead talking about the area’s lack of affordable housing and history of demolishing public housing projects.
But commissioners discussed Shakir’s removal in executive session, then ousted him when they emerged in early afternoon.
Commissioners approved Shakir’s removal by a 4-1 vote, with Chairman Robb Pitts opposed, Commissioner Bridget Thorne not voting and Commissioner Bob Ellis absent.
After Wednesday’s meeting, Abdur-Rahman said the action taken was just Shakir’s removal, but that she will renominate Pittman to fill the vacant seat. If approved, Pittman will serve out the rest of Shakir’s term, which ends in July 2027.
Housing authority board members and senior staff asked commissioners in mid-November for Shakir’s removal. They accused him of constantly disrupting meetings and sexually harassing female staff.
Shakir denied all accusations, responding that he has only advocated for expanding public housing to replace the many developments that Atlanta has torn down in the past few decades. In turn, he accused housing board Chair Antavius Weems of trying to bully him into silence and orchestrating a campaign to damage his reputation.
County commissioners didn’t act in November or December, instead waiting for a report from County Attorney Y. Soo Jo. The county declined to make that report public, citing attorney-client privilege.