DeKalb CEO hires attorney team amid grand jury investigation

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DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis gives a press conference after DeKalb County authorities executed search warrants at his home and office. BOB ANDRES BANDRES@AJC.COM
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis has hired an attorney team in the grand jury investigation against him.

Channel 2’s Jodie Fleischer confirmed that Ellis hired former DeKalb District Attorney J. Tom Morgan, Morgan's law partner, John Petrey, as well as law partners Craig Gillen and Anthony Lake. Fleischer said Gillen will be lead counsel for Ellis.

Last week, agents took computers and other evidence from Ellis’ Stone Mountain home while executing a search warrant.

“I haven’t done anything that I’m aware of and nor has my staff done anything that I’m aware of that’s inappropriate,” Ellis said on the afternoon of the search.

While his home was being searched, Ellis was testifying before a special grand jury, which is investigating Watershed operations and its procurement process.

Investigators said they believe Ellis may have knowledge about employees fired from Watershed Management for taking bribes as well as bid-rigging for county contracts.

On Thursday, Ellis' attorneys said the DeKalb District Attorney's Office has not been dealing with him in good faith. He said the office misrepresented his role in testifying before the grand jury.

"All we want is fairness in this process. We expect it and we insist on it," Gillen said.

The District Attorney’s Office is also looking into campaign financial records.