Charges against DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis dropped

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The DeKalb County district attorney announced Monday that she will not prosecute former county CEO Burrell Ellis after a Supreme Court judge over turned his conviction.

District Attorney Shirley Boston said the case has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars during the past four years to prosecute.

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"Judge Johnson had granted and signed that order effectively closing the case,"
Boston told a crowd of reporters Monday. "After four years, two trials, countless number of man hours and financial resources, in the interest of judicial economy and the potential cost to the citizens of DeKalb County, we believe it is time to close this chapter and move forward."

DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston announced Monday that she's dropping charges against former DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis. The Georgia Supreme Court overturned Ellis' conviction in November. DAVID BARNES / David.Barnes@ajc.com

Ellis' first trial in 2014 ended in a mistrial.

A jury then found Ellis guilty in July 2015 of trying to shake down a county contractor for campaign contributions.

But the state's highest court ruled he had been denied a fair trial and released Ellis after serving only eight months of a five-and-a-half year prison sentence for attempted extortion and perjury.

"Mr. Ellis did serve the jail time that he was sentenced to in this matter, and released. We have to examine what more there would be to gain in pursuit of a third prosecution,"      ​

Channel 2’s Liz Artz contacted Ellis' attorney about the DA’s decision. He sent Artz a statement saying: "It is the just and fair thing to do. The four year nightmare for Burrell and his family is finally over."

The county paid Ellis more than $200,000 in back pay after the state court overturned his conviction.