GALVESTON

The director of the county’s economic development program submitted a resignation letter this week just two years after he took the position.

C.B. “Bix” Rathburn is resigning from the county effective Aug. 7, according to an agenda item for today’s commissioners court meeting. In a prepared statement, Rathburn said he plans to become an independent consultant and work on projects around the county.

Rathburn was hired in July 2015 at an annual salary of $130,000, according to the county. The Galveston County Commissioners Court will vote today to accept his resignation.

Rathburn said his consulting firm, Rathburn Planning & Consulting, is in negotiation with Galveston County “on the potential for an ongoing consultant relationship to continue my work for the cities, business and industry that call Galveston County home.”

The statement said he plans to “maintain communication and the positive momentum on the approximately 30 business recruitment and expansion projects” he has ongoing.

Rathburn said he started his consulting company in 2012. His firm developed facility and master plans for La Marque and other entities between 2012 and 2014.

Reached Monday, County Judge Mark Henry said Rathburn’s resignation was a surprise to him. Rathburn had met with Commissioners Ken Clark and Darrell Apffel last week to discuss the resignation, Henry said. The commissioners could not be reached Monday.

Before starting at the county, Rathburn was the executive director of the Galveston County Economic Alliance for about a year. He was the president of Texas A&M University at Texarkana from July 2008 to August 2013 before resigning with little explanation, according to the Texarkana Gazette.

Rathburn was previously president of Savannah Technical College from 2000 to 2008. A Georgia Office of the Inspector General found Rathburn had abused the position by asking the auto department head to purchase parts for his personal vehicle and failing to reimburse him in a timely manner.

The report also found he used state money to cover the initial cost of a catering event for a board member. He resigned several months after the report was completed.

Rathburn was the president of Galveston College from 1995 to 2000.

Marissa Barnett: 409-683-5257; marissa.barnett@galvnews.com

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