DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News has learned that two DeKalb County officials have been placed on administrative leave after their testimony before a special grand jury suggested they accepted bribes from vendors.
Kelvin Walton, the DeKalb County purchasing and contracting director, and ousted CEO Burrell Ellis’ secretary, Nina Hall, have been placed on administrative leave with pay.
“This is an action that is meant to tell the public we are making the tough decisions,” said interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May. “I’ve been deliberating on it for weeks now and it’s really just finally making the decision.”
Walton and Hall testified before a special grand jury that was looking into corruption allegations throughout the DeKalb County watershed department and county government. Information gleaned from that investigation sparked a criminal investigation and ultimately Ellis’ indictment. Walton is named as a co-conspirator in that indictment.
Court records reveal that Walton repeatedly failed polygraph examinations when asked about accepting bribes from county vendors and funneling work to certain vendors in exchange for kickbacks.
Hall testified under oath that she sat on multiple selection committees to award county contracts to vendors and that she accepted cash from Walton that she believed he obtained from vendors.
“When you admit you lied to a grand jury about things that relate to your job, you get fired,” said attorney Bob Wilson. “Mr. Walton and Ms. Hall now get paid to go home and sit, they can do whatever they want to do and they still get their pay check? It’s beginning to cost this county a lot of taxpayer money for no work.”
Walton and hall will be suspended at least through the end of Ellis’ trial. Within recent months Hall worked in watershed management. There are no plans to fill her position
The interim purchasing director, Scott Callan, starts next week. Callan used to be Gwinnett County's purchasing director.