Motions hearing held for suspended DeKalb CEO - KMSP-TV

Motions hearing held for suspended DeKalb CEO

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Motions hearings began on Thursday morning in the case that suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis.

The prosecuting attorney – DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James -- testified during Thursday's hearing for the defense. He spent about an hour on the witness stand, sparring with defense attorney Craig Gillen several times.

James claims CEO Ellis used his influence to shakedown vendors who looked to do business in DeKalb County and that he forcefully solicited campaign contributions from those same vendors.

"I started hearing evidence of the CEO shaking people down on tape, threatening vendors -- things of that nature and did my job," James said.

At issue in Thursday's hearing was whether James went too far in the investigation when, according to the defense, he had a witness secretly record Ellis at the height of the investigation in 2012.

"This is a focus that turned on Mr. Ellis because Mr. James, from the very day he took office, said that's what he wanted to have happen," Gillen said.

Don Geary was the district attorney's chief assistant when Ellis was under investigation. He said that he expressed concerns about the secret recording.  

The hearing will continue on Friday.



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