Suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis took to Youtube.com Thursday to profess his innocence and complain about the tactics used by District Attorney Robert James in bringing a corruption case against him.
Ellis, who has rarely spoken publicly since he was indicted for allegedly shaking down DeKalb contractors for thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and suspended from office, complained that James tapped his phone and raided his home while his 83-year-old mother was there alone.
“The trauma of that event lingers to this day,” Ellis says in the video. “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 because I have done absolutely nothing wrong.”
Ellis has argued through his attorneys that the case is the fruit of bitter politics.
But James has said the evidence, which includes recordings of Ellis, shows the suspended CEO illegally used his office for personal gain.
The video Ellis released today has him speaking directly into the camera and addressing his “constituents” as the “duly elected CEO.”
Below is a transcript.
Ellis: “This is DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis and it is now time for me to speak directly to my constituents who have placed their faith and confidence in me as their duly elected CEO.
I am innocent of the charges against me. They are politically motivated. I have never violated the trust that DeKalb County voters have placed in me in more than 13 years of public service. I have never stolen nor profited from my public service.
I stand for honest, open and transparent government.
One year ago, the DeKalb District Attorney raided my home while my 83-year-old mother was there alone. The trauma of that event lingers to this day.
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 because I have done absolutely nothing wrong.
In an attempt to find something, District Attorney Robert James bugged my most personal phone calls, including those with my wife, my children, my mother, my lawyer and even my pastor.
After being told by a member of his staff that he had violated the law and had committed criminal acts, the district attorney, in his zeal to destroy me, continued nonetheless.
With God’s help, I will be vindicated and return to my work as your CEO. I believe that what is right will always reveal itself in the end. And that will be the restoration of the office office to which you have elected me and my reputation.
Daily, whether I am in grocery store, at the gas station, at church, or simply sitting in my car at a stop light, I am approached by caring citizens who let me know that they are praying for me and praying for my family. We feel your prayers and are humbled by your heartfelt support.
To those of you who have stood with me through this trial, I thank you and my family thanks you. We will prevail. God bless you all.”