Authorities search DeKalb CEO's former campaign manager's office

by: Richard Elliot Updated:


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A day after investigators served search warrants on the home and office of DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, the other man named in the warrants declined to comment.

Investigators also searched the Northside Parkway offices of Kevin Ross who once served as Ellis' campaign manager and was a trusted adviser. He operates the Kevin Ross Public Affairs Group, and is a popular political consultant.

The District Attorney's Office served the warrants as Ellis testified before a grand jury looking into vendor contracts. Ellis said he didn't know about the search warrants until after he finished testifying.

Channel 2's Richard Elliot went by Ross' offices Tuesday, but an employee there said he had no comment about the warrants.

Two and a half years ago, Channel 2 Action News reported that Ross admitted he advised Ellis to cancel and rebid several contracts belonging to competitors of companies he represented.

In one instance, the company Ross represented got the contract.

Former DeKalb District Attorney J. Tom Morgan looked over the warrants and thought they were unusual.

"In my 25 years as a prosecutor, I'm unaware of any time that search warrants were executed on a target of an investigation when that target was testifying before a grand jury," Morgan said. "It is highly unusual to do it in this manner."

From looking at the language in the warrants, Morgan concluded current DA Robert James is investigating the possibility of political corruption.

"There is a litany of crimes listed there," Morgan said. "Some of them include federal crimes, but to my knowledge, the federal parties are not involved in this investigation."

Morgan reminded people that a search warrant doesn't mean anyone's guilty of a crime.

"Most people, unfortunately, believe that if you're the subject of a search warrant at your house, you're guilty of something," Morgan said. "We do not want anyone to believe that anyone was guilty of a crime until we get the evidence to go forward with the prosecution of that crime."

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