DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Only Channel 2 Action News has discovered hundreds of pages of key evidence in the Burrell Ellis corruption case left unsealed.
Channel 2’s Erica Byfield discovered the excerpts while digging through documents connected to the case.
Suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis is accused of shaking down contractors for campaign money.
Byfield has been trying to get the records for months and they are
Byfield went to the courthouse Wednesday to look for anything new, asked for the case file and the documents were attached to a defense motion.
The 100-plus pages are basically a road map to prosecutors' case against
The documents detail what a DeKalb County district attorney investigator wrote to convince a judge his team needed to raid Ellis' home and office in January 2013.
Byfield and Channel 2 investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer spent hours inside the DeKalb County Courthouse going through boxes of records.
Ellis is currently facing a 14
The investigators used Ellis' own words against him. In September 2012 he told an informant his thoughts on a vendor.
"We ain't doing any more business with her. A million-dollar contract and she hung up on me and won't return my phone calls?" Ellis is quoted as saying.
That same month Ellis said, "They have this policy that they don't feel comfortable giving to political campaigns. I have a real problem with them getting the level of business they get. They're one of the biggest beneficiaries and they won't give? That's going to be part of the conversation."
Ellis is also quoted as saying "just dry them up
" about a third vendor.
All along Ellis has professed his innocence.
"I would never violate the public’s trust," Ellis had told Channel 2 Action News in a previous interview.
The investigator even references an audio recording where
, "CEO Ellis discusses making minority millionaires through the awards of DeKalb County contracts."
But Ellis did try to hedge what he was doing.
"CEO Ellis states that he does not want it to be said that he will not do business with people who do not make contributions, but vendors need to return his calls," the investigator wrote.
Byfield learned his own chief of staff expressed concerned that vendors might feel like they are being extorted in 2012.