Burrell Ellis fires back after corruption charges

by: Erica Byfield Updated:

Loading
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —

DeKalb County's top boss is refusing to step down and firing back at allegations he is corrupt.

"First and foremost I have done nothing wrong, I want you to hear that directly from me," Burrell Ellis told a standing-room only crowd of county employees.

Monday's meeting marked the first time Ellis spoke to employees about the criminal charges he's facing.

Ellis alluded to the indictment and the hours he spent in jail, but did not directly discuss it.

"I know the events of the last week caught everybody by surprise," Ellis said.

Last week, a DeKalb County grand jury indicted Ellis on 15 counts. Ellis is accused of shaking down vendors and telling them if they wanted to do business in the county they needed to contribute to his campaign.

County employees told Channel 2's Erica Byfield on Monday they expected more from Ellis.

"I don't know if you are innocent. How do you get 15 indictments against you?" questioned parks service employee Earl Jones.

"I was expecting to hear more, I was expecting to hear much more," sanitation employee Thomas Moore said. "A 15-count indictment, it speaks for itself. These people are coming after you and this is serious. This could be it. Hopefully it is not."

Earlier this year, investigators raided Ellis' office and home.

At the podium Monday, Ellis told employees they are valued and must stay focused on serving residents.

Ellis later addressed the media with his attorneys.

"I believe in Burrell Ellis and he is absolutely not guilty," said attorney John Petrey.