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Brookhaven, Chamblee Reacts To Search Of Ellis Home, Office

DeKalb CEO says he doesn't know if he's a target of an investigation.


Reaction was subdued in Brookhaven and Chamblee to Monday's news that the home and office of CEO Burrell Ellis was searched by law enforcement officials.

"Given the focus on efficient governance, including the justification for the incorporation of the City of Brookhaven, it is disconcerting that there was enough probably cause for the search warrant to be issued," said Chamblee City Councilman Tom Hogan. "That being said, I remain optimistic and hopeful that there was no foul play and the CEO will be cleared."

Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis told Patch called the incident "troubling" and "disappointing."

"But everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and I'm not going to make any sort of judgments," he said. 

Brookhaven District 2 councilman Jim Eyre said he didn't have enough information on the circumstance to comment. District 4 councilman Joe Gebbia also declined comment, other than to say his initial reaction to the news was "one of great surprise."

The AJC reported that Ellis' home and office were searched on the same day that the DeKalb CEO testified before a special grand jury investigating county watershed operations.

Ellis appeared before local media shortly before 1 p.m. and said he's unaware of any wrongdoing by him or those within his office related to the department's bidding. He also said he hasn't had any inappropriate contact with county vendors that do business with the department.

"We're just going to continue to cooperate [with the investigation]," Ellis said. "I don't know that I'm a target. … It's a pretty broad warrant they've issued."

Ellis said he was concerned for his visiting 83-year-old mother, who was the only person at his home when the search started. He and his department have cooperated with District Attorney Robert James' investigation since its beginning, he said.

"I'm not sure why they chose to do it that way, but they did," Ellis said of the morning search.

According to the warrants, which were released by the DeKalb County Superior Court Clerk's office, the warrants sought:

Books, computers and hard drives with information about vendors and contracts with DeKalb County, county probation services, lobbying groups, county Watrshed Management, the Watershed Management Capital Improvement Program, ambulance services and all documents about Sentinel Probtion Services, Montgomery Watson, Rural Metro Ambulance, Massey-Bowers and the Ferguson Group and all campaign financial information.

The warrants also sought the computers and electronic devices for assistants Nina Hall and Karen Williams, chief of Staff Hakim Hilliard and Joel Alvarado.

The search warrants were for:

  • Ellis's house at 5614 Mountain View Point in Stone Mountain.
  • Ellis's DeKalb County office on he sixth floor of the building at 330 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur.
  • 3290 Northside Parkway, Suite 775, in Atlanta.
  • The DeKalb County IT Department in the Calloway Building at 120 W. Trinity Place, Decatur.
  • The DeKalb County Finance Office in the Manuel Maloof Building at 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur.
  • The DeKalb County Elections Office at 4380 Memorial Drive, outside Decatur.
  • The DeKalb County Purchasing and Contracting Office in the Manuel Maloof Building at 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur.

District 2 Commissioner Jeff Rader, in a brief phone interview, said it was too soon to comment.

"I really can't react to it," he said. "I really don't know any more than you do."

Stay with Patch as more details become available.

Eddie E. January 08, 2013 at 03:02 PM
mythical windbag, Not at all relevant to the discussion at hand, but you have mastered the 'duckspeaking' style of your party chairs. Deflect, project, but never, ever answer the question. I could care less about budgeting in the Senate, until military expenditures are effectively cut 50%, no reason to waste time on it.
John Galt January 08, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Typical liberal. Resorts to name-calling, hypocrisy and calling for the reduction in our national security. Buy American, Eddie.
BurrellJustGotRousted January 08, 2013 at 04:05 PM
" Buy American, Eddie." Zing and Zang.
John Galt January 08, 2013 at 04:41 PM
What, Obama administration is engaging in "pay-to-play"? Eddie, what say you? http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/01/08/companies-donate-obama-inaugural/1814737/ Sandy Murray & Tim Alborg, comments? HamBurger? The travesty...
BurrellJustGotRousted January 08, 2013 at 04:54 PM
As we in the the law abiding community say, because you go to prison for 'Steal-to-Play.' Free suites at the Ritz for lawmakers, filled with the best booze - OK, Kickbacks on contracts - Not OK, Disclosed campaign contributions from potential vendors - OK, Payment from a vendor, for a vote - Not OK. Get it? Got it? Good.
Eddie E. January 08, 2013 at 05:43 PM
windbag, Yes we have radically different philosophies. I would venture mine is not based on the rantings of an author who was not only a traitor to her revolution but to the invented philosophy she espoused when the reality of aging settled upon her. So you had your opportunity at deflection, where is the Budget?
Eddie E. January 08, 2013 at 05:45 PM
One need not go to Washington to find such antics as the AJC had a wonderful article tucked into the front page section on Sunday detailing the 'pay to play' nature of those who have been misdirecting the Georgia Ship of State since 2003. Apparently, no action is taken without an adequate contribution. The House Insurance Committee is a particularly glaring example.
John Galt January 08, 2013 at 05:49 PM
I will ask for the budget at tonight's meeting. See you there.
Eddie E. January 08, 2013 at 05:57 PM
windbag, How will I know you, or will you be sure to embarrass yourself in the public comments?
John McGrew January 08, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Funny spin Eddie. There's no courage. Last week was proof that they've long since gone past denying reality and have just accepted the fantasy. There will be no "change" until it's forced upon them, like after it's too late when the dollar collapses.
John McGrew January 08, 2013 at 10:36 PM
And it was more than a terrible novel; A terrible prophesy. We're squarely in the middle. My guess is that where less than 4 years off from Directive 10-189. It won't be much of a surprise since most Progressives already consider most of it good policy.
HDM January 09, 2013 at 01:24 AM
You are right Hank, there were many good reasons to vote YES to Brookhaven beyond even limiting the influence of the corrupt DeKalb Democrat bureaucracy on our citizens.
Eddie E. January 09, 2013 at 01:34 PM
John, I had to read it way back in AP Lit. Got the highest grade in the class by pointing out the inconsistencies and the suspension of disbelief necessary to tolerate it. (It did give me a lifelong respect to always question any actions that have an underlying aspect of unabashed selfishness, self-aggrandizement or abject lack of concern for one's fellow citizens and shared environment). I still feel that '1984' and 'Brave New World' better define the things our society has come to tolerate without resistance. Whodathunk that 'the telescreen could be turned down but never off' would become acceptable as soon as there was an 'always on' internet connection available?
John McGrew January 09, 2013 at 03:20 PM
If you want to have fun, read it again today. It's really easy to assign the characters to our real-life leaders today, and what they have been doing.
Eddie E. January 09, 2013 at 05:55 PM
John, I can't envision a time where I have so little to do than reread that or the other pointless waste of paper I had to wade through (fountainhead). The end of the authors life did prove some aspects of karma and disprove her 'faith' in her self-inflicted religion of unfettered selfishness.
don Gabacho January 09, 2013 at 07:59 PM
"Given the focus on efficient governance, including the justification for the incorporation of the City of Brookhaven,..."----Chamblee City Councilman Tom Hogan "Justification"? Going from bad to worse? How do you, Mr. Hogan, justify---as "Chamblee City Councilman"---your deciding just what must justify the City of Brookhaven for Brookhaven---and not Chamblee---residents? It you are going to justify anything, justify that so-called police department of Chamblee's.
don Gabacho January 09, 2013 at 08:05 PM
"We voted to reduce the burden of the DeKalb Democrat bureaucrac and this corrupt politician."---Dean "Reduce"? You must mean displace.
don Gabacho January 09, 2013 at 08:06 PM
"Brookhaven residents are lucky to be a bit more removed from the chucklehouse that is the DeKalb Democrat bureacracy."----Dean Compared to Pub 71, at least one can laugh about it.
don Gabacho January 09, 2013 at 08:11 PM
"To those who assume only conservative Republicans supported Brookhaven Yes and the election results: Not true."---Hank Quinn There were even "conservative Republicans" who, knowing the "Brookhaven Yes" gang, voted no.
don Gabacho January 09, 2013 at 08:16 PM
"Do you ever once wonder what would have happened if our state elected officials, Rep. Mike Jacobs, Rep. Tom Taylor, and Sen. Fran Millar had directed their efforts towards spearheading cleaning up DCSS and DeKalb County government instead of trying to develop new cities in DeKalb County?" "Cleaning up"? Yes I have thought about it. Pleeeeeze!?!
patrick January 09, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Howard you are correct. But you forgot the election for Dist. 2 city office this year, let us hope for a change.
patrick January 09, 2013 at 09:11 PM
That is funny that Jim needs "more information ",{as stated above}.But last year he had all the information to support mini warehouses on clairmint. That (overlooking } the FACT the the owners of the land was payed in the 1990"s,were payed with tax money for their land with the promise that BUILDINGS would Not be built on their land
Eddie E. January 09, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Howie, Are all your imaginary heroes as vacuous?
John McGrew January 10, 2013 at 02:43 PM
You're probably right, Eddie. There's really no reason to read it again today. You can read the exact same nonsense on the front page of the New York Times.
Roger That January 10, 2013 at 06:10 PM
DeKalb Sanitation employees who shook down clients for tips were just following the example.
BurrellLawyersUp January 17, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Burrell 'lawyers-up' with heavy weights, do we pay? I have always felt that one's choice of criminal attorneys speaks volumes about their alleged misdeeds. For instance, if you chose Eddie Garland, you might be a thug... Today, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis announced that former DA J. Tom Morgan and Mr. Craig Gillen will represent him in the alleged RICO, bid-rigging, etc. investigation. Mr. Gillen has a resume that oozes competence in such crimes, having gone from a principled prosecutor over to the dark side; now a monied criminal defender. http://www.twitherslaw.com/index.cfm?pageid=2&itemid=3
BurrellLawyersUp January 17, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Does DeKalb CEO Ellis define 'play-to-pay'? The 'pay-to-play' topic ignited tons of chitter-chatter during the Brookhaven run-off, resulting in nastiness, bad feelings, and lies being heaped upon a decent man, our new Mayor. Yet, those same strident voices remain uncharacteristically quiet as today AJC reveals allegations against CEO Burrell Ellis. This is what 'pay-to'play' really means. Hit dog ...
BurrellLawyersUp January 17, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Courtesy: AJC http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/businesses-named-in-dekalb-probe-earned-millions/nTyhN/ "... But The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has found: Four of the companies have been paid more than $4 million by DeKalb County since Ellis took office in January 2009, compared to less than $25,000 before Ellis’ election, according to financial data obtained by the AJC. A fifth vendor named in the search warrant affidavits, an ambulance company, is paid directly by patients, not by the county, for services it provides in DeKalb. But that contract has been previously estimated to generate at least $8.5 million a year. Four of the companies have hired Ross, Ellis’ friend and adviser, as a consultant. Five of the companies, their employees or their relatives contributed nearly $20,000 combined to Ellis’ campaigns, according to an AJC analysis ..." OH YEAH! Time for a clean sweep!
BurrellLawyersUp January 17, 2013 at 03:54 PM
LOOKEE over here, gun people! This is what is going on today, now, and you can meaningfully affect change: http://www.peachpundit.com/2013/01/17/dekalb-schools-time-to-pull-the-band-aid/
BurrellLawyersUp January 17, 2013 at 09:36 PM
BURRELL'S LEGAL TEAM: Who pays? FOUR of the BEST LAWYERS. "On Thursday, however, legal experts said Ellis has now assembled a formidable team. With Gillen, Ellis has one of the most respected and feared – particularly when he’s in a courtroom – lawyers in Georgia. “He’s the best of the best,” said Don Samuel, a prominent Atlanta defense attorney. “He’s an incredibly talented courtroom lawyer and a great student of the law.” Years ago, the pugnacious attorney won notable convictions as a federal prosecutor. {NOTE: He convicted Mike Thevis} Since becoming a defense attorney, Gillen has won acquittals for a string of high-profile clients. This includes the 2001 acquittal of reputed Mob captain Michael “Mike Scars” DiLeonardo in the sensational Gold Club racketeering trial and, a year later, the dismissal of corruption charges against former state Sen. Van Streat. More recently, Gillen has represented Bishop Eddie Long, former Cobb EMC head Dwight Brown and former Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charles Bannister. - Craig Gillen, - Anthony Lake, Mr. Gillen's law partner, - J. Tom Morgan, former DeKalb DA, - John Petrey, Morgan’s former chief assistant.

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