DeKalb’s new District Attorney Sherry Boston isn’t going to prosecute former CEO Burrell Ellis for a third time, and this is a good thing. Mark Niesse has a pretty good summary in the AJC:
“A jury had found Ellis guilty in July 2015 of trying to shake down a contractor for campaign contributions, but the state’s highest court found he had been denied a fair trial. The charges of attempted extortion and perjury remained pending until Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson on Monday granted Boston’s request to drop them.”
I believe it’s important to add a fact that I haven’t seen included in most media coverage of this story, and that is that Burrell Ellis was never accused of putting a single dime in his own pocket. He went after campaign donations aggressively, and probably left a few quid pro quo impressions hanging in the air. But there were also contractors who didn’t donate, but who still kept their contracts.
Boston (on whose campaign I worked) believed that Ellis had been overcharged and over-prosecuted, and said on the campaign trail that the expense of a third prosecution wouldn’t be justified. Her election, by a margin of 62%-38,% reflected a public mood that was pretty sick of scandal and wanted that chapter of our book closed.
Boston’s part of a vanguard of newly elected officials in DeKalb -new CEO Mike Thurmond, new Commissioners Steve Bradshaw and Gregory Adams, and new Solicitor-General Donna Coleman-Stribling. Shoot, there’s even a new probate court judge.
If personnel is policy, maybe we taxpayers in DeKalb county can start to expect some good things from our government. Fingers crossed.