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Monday, January 7, 2013

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis' home and office searched by investigators

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  • John Nowak/CL File
DeKalb County authorities raided DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis' office and Stone Mountain home this morning as part of an ongoing investigation.

Police detectives reportedly removed four boxes and a computer from his residence, which 11Alive says was related to a special grand jury investigation into the county's watershed department. In a statement this afternoon regarding the search, Ellis denied engaging in any inappropriate behavior. In addition, he admitted that he was "a little perplexed" by a request to appear before a special grand jury this morning.

"We were here to talk to the grand jury about watershed management and the procurement process in DeKalb County," Ellis told Fox 5. "We've been here before. We've answered all of the questions truthfully and honestly and straightforward. And I've always directed my folks to cooperate with the grand jury, and make sure that they get all of the answers that they need."

We've reached out to a DeKalb County spokesman for more information and we'll post an update once we know more. DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader told Tucker Patch that it was too soon to comment.

According to the AJC, DeKalb District Attorney Robert James began investigating the country's watershed bidding process last year while "addressing claims of bid rigging and kickbacks" with a contractor.

"It's not just looking at people who may have had their hand in the cookie jar, as it were," James told WSB-TV convening a special grand jury in 2012. "It looks to see how deep and how pervasive an issue or problem may be."

UPDATE, 3:40 p.m.: Burrell Ellis has not released a formal statement, but as we reported earlier he did speak about the investigation. We've embedded the audio below.

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