Grand jury re-indicts suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis - Fox 2 News Headlines

Grand jury re-indicts suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -

A grand jury indicted suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis on a new charge Thursday.

Ellis was suspended last year after a grand jury indicted him on 14 counts of extortion, theft and conspiracy. 

The new indictment came hours after Ellis posted a video on YouTube proclaiming his innocence.

"It's now time for me to speak directly to constituents who have faith and confidence in me," Ellis said in the video.

In the video, Ellis insisted that he has done nothing wrong.

"I am innocent of the charges against me," Ellis said. "They are politically motivated. I never violated the trust the voters in DeKalb County placed in me in more than 13 years of public service. "

Ellis' Stone Mountain home was raided last year by investigators from the DeKalb County district attorney's office. They were searching for evidence of extortion, theft and conspiracy stemming from allegations that Ellis aggressively solicited campaign donations from contractors who do business in the county.

"The trauma of that event lingers to this day," Ellis said. "The DA went through my closets, my wife's personal items, my kids' toy bins and even my trash and found nothing illegal or improper…After being told by a member of the staff that he had violated the law and had committed criminal acts, the district attorney, in his zeal to destroy me, continued nonetheless.

The new indictment accuses Ellis of voiding a county contract after hearing political consultant Brenda Cornelius had criticized him.  The new charge is conspiracy and restraint of free and open competition.

According to the indictment, Cornelius' consulting firm, the Cornelius Group Inc., was hired to conduct a public relations campaign for the county. Documents allege that Ellis ordered an unnamed and un-indicted co-conspirator to cancel that $40,000 contract in March 2012 after Cornelius criticized Ellis professionally.

Ellis' defense team told FOX 5 that they couldn't comment on the new indictment, but said that the YouTube video was not released in anticipation of the new charge.

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