The Thomas County manager was sentenced Wednesday to probation, a fine and community service.

Mike Stephenson was sentenced in State Court of Thomas County to an amended charge of reckless driving.

He was charged in July 2011, with driving under the influence and striking a fixed object. The latter charge was dismissed.

The late Elliott McCollum, former State Court judge, and State Court Solicitor Andrew Pope recused themselves in the case in 2011.

Bill Bass, State Court of Grady County judge, presided at the Wednesday morning sentencing at the Thomas County Judicial Center.  Ben Kirbo, State Court of Decatur County solicitor, prosecuted the case.

Stephenson was sentenced to 12 months probation, a $44 monthly probation supervision fee, a $1,000 fine, 40 hours of community service and attend DUI/alcohol or drug risk reduction program within 120 days.

Kirbo and Stephenson's attorney, Chris Ambrose, agreed to make the sentence recommendation to the court.

Stephenson was arrested at his residence on July 10, 2011, after a motorist reported a possibly impaired driver to police.

Stephenson, county manager since the late 1990s, was suspended without pay the day after the offense. He was reinstated in late August 2011.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.

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