Outgoing Gov. Sonny Perdue announced late this afternoon that he was replacing a Department of Natural Resources board member who voted against the controversial Oaky Woods purchase with a veteran lobbyist.
Robert Leebern Jr., whose family was a major contributor to Perdue’s 2006 re-election campaign, will replace Thomas Wheeler as the representative of the 5th congressional district. Wheeler’s term expires Jan. 1.
Leebern of Atlanta is a principal with Troutman Sanders Strategies, where he leads the federal affairs practice and serves on the firm’s board of directors.
Perdue also announced he was replacing coastal representative Jenny Lynn Bradley, chair of the DNR board, with Mark V. Smith of Savannah, a hotel management executive at Prince-Bush-Smith Hotels and chief executive officer at South Atlantic Utilities.
Bradley’s term also expires Jan. 1.
Earlier this month, the DNR board voted to pay $28.7 million for 10,015 acres of the Oaky Woods property near Perdue’s