DeKalb County, GA, February 6, 2017 – The Post Reports – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting the newly elected DeKalb County District Attorney, Sherry Boston, announced Monday she will not move forward with a retrial against former DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis.
Ellis, who was elected twice to the DeKalb CEO position, was accused of trying to “shake down” a county contractor for campaign contributions. Ellis allegedly attempted to extort a $2,500 campaign contribution from Power and Energy Services, Inc. through its co-owner, Brandon Cummings. Power and Energy Services, an Austell business, had a $250,000 contract with DeKalb County to provide generator repairs for the Department of Watershed Management.
A mistrial was reached in Ellis’ first trial when a jury could not reach a unanimous verdict. He was later convicted during a new trial on one count of criminal attempt to commit theft by extortion and three counts of perjury. Ellis was sentenced to five years, to serve 18 months in jail. On March 1, 2016 Ellis was released from prison and appealed his convictions to the Georgia Supreme Court.
On November 30, 2016, the Georgia Supreme Court reversed those convictions after finding that while the evidence against Ellis was sufficient to convict him, technical errors occurred and therefore “the convictions must be reversed”.
In December, Ellis was reinstated as the county’s top administrator and finished out the few weeks he ad left in his elected term, an office former Interim CEO Lee May held while Ellis was suspended and going through his legal battle. Ellis was also entitled to receive any compensation withheld while he was suspended.