• Burrell Ellis denied legal defense fund by DeKalb board

    By: Erica Byfield


    DECATUR, Ga. - DeKalb County's CEO will have to pay for his own legal bills.

    Channel 2's Erica Byfield has learned Burrell Ellis' request to establish a "legal defense fund" was unanimously rejected by DeKalb County's Ethics Board.

    Byfield confirmed this development through an open records request.

    A letter written by Ellis dated Feb. 4 read in part, "This is a request for an advisory opinion related to the establishment of a "legal defense fund" by private citizens on behalf of a member of the governing authority of DeKalb County."

    In the body of the text, Ellis suggests he would restrict county employees from donating and the names of the people who contributed would be anonymous.

    In early January, investigators from DeKalb's District Attorney's Office removed documents and computers from Ellis' home and office.

    Channel 2 Action News later learned authorities want to know what, if any, role the Ellis and his former campaign manager played in the contracts DeKalb County has given out.

    Within days of the raid, Ellis hired a team of lawyers to defend him.

    Ellis has denied any wrongdoing.


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