Friday, January 17, 2014

Suspended DeKalb CEO proclaims innocence in YouTube clip, gets indicted on new charges (Update)

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 10:28 AM

As he awaits his day in court, suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis has taken his battle to the front lines of YouTube in an effort to appeal to county residents.

Last June, a grand jury indicted Ellis on 15 count of allegedly attempting to pressure county contractors for campaign contributions. The embattled county official, who has rarely addressed the corruption charges, decided to profess his innocence online. During a three-minute defense, Ellis defends his public record, accuses DeKalb District Attorney Robert James of trying "destroy" him, and describes the personal trauma stemming from the investigation. We've included his full remarks after the jump:

This is DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis. It's now time time for me to speak directly to my constituents who have placed faith and confident in me as their duly-elected CEO. I am innocent of the charges against me. They are politically motivated. I have never violated the trust the voters of DeKalb County have placed in me in more than 13 years of public service. I have never stolen, nor profited from public service. I stand for honest, open, and transparent government.

One year ago, the DeKalb district attorney raided my home while my 83-year-old mother was there alone. The trauma of that event lingers to this day. The DA went through my closets, my wife's personal items, my kids' toy bins, and even my trash - and found nothing illegal or improper, because I have done absolutely nothing wrong. In an attempt to find something, District Attorney Robert James bugged my most personal phone calls including those with my wife, my children, my mother, my lawyers, and even my pastor. After being told by a member of his staff that he had violated the law and had committed criminal acts, the district attorney, in his zeal to destroy me, continued nonetheless.

With God's help, I will be vindicated and return to my work as your CEO. I believe that what is right will always reveal itself in the end. That will be restoration of the office to which you have elected me and my reputation. Daily, whether I'm in the grocery store, at the gas station, at church, or simply sitting in my car at a stoplight, I'm approached by caring citizens who let me know that they praying for me and praying for my family. We feel your prayers and are humbled by your heartfelt support. To those who have stood with me through this trial, I thank you and my family thanks you. We will prevail. God bless you all.

Ellis supporters have also launched a "Friends of Burrell Ellis" website and legal fund.

UPDATE, 10:23 a.m.: Shortly after Ellis posted his appeal to the public, another DeKalb grand jury indicted him on new charges including perjury, bribery and theft by extortion after he allegedly voided a county contract following a vendor's professional criticism.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Latest in Fresh Loaf

More by Max Blau

The Ultimate Doughnut Smackdown
The Ultimate Doughnut Smackdown

Search Events

Search Fresh Loaf

Recent Comments

© 2016 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation