A New Day In (and for) DeKalb County

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.


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Progressive DembethebalanceMike HassingerJohn Vestal Recent comment authors
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John Vestal
John Vestal

So, does this just leave the reported Fed investigation into spending by former commissioner Sharon Barnes-Sutton?

Progressive Dem
Progressive Dem

If the Feds can put a good sting on Barnes Sutton she might start singing about things she knows. That might unravel that cash that passed from Doug Cotter to Morris Williams and Lee May. Stan Watson is still under investigation by the feds, too.


It would help if the Commission passed a law that banned solicitation or receipt of capmaign funds from county vendors, contractors, or bidders, or their families. I don’t think that’s been done yet, and if not, that would be a big step. Plenty of other local governments have such laws.

Progressive Dem
Progressive Dem