Contentious Hearings Wrap Up in DeKalb CEO Corruption Case

first_img Related Stories For Whom The Bell Rings Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility ??:?? | Play story Add to My ListIn My List Lawyers in the corruption case of suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis wrapped up two days of contentious pretrial hearings Tuesday. Much of the debate centered on what would be allowed as evidence in the upcoming trial.??:??Ellis’ attorneys continued to argue District Attorney Robert James is politically motivated and should be removed from the case due to prosecutorial misconduct. They also said secretly captured audio and video of Ellis should be inadmissible because it was taken without his consent.“If he’s being videotaped, or anyone else in his office is being videotaped, all persons have to consent,” said Ellis attorney Dwight Thomas.But prosecutors argued Ellis, like any other county employee, has no expectation of privacy when conducting work in a county office.Thomas countered Ellis, as CEO, has executive privilege.“Ellis is not an employee of the county. He is the county. He is the employer. He is defined, along with the Board of Commissioners, as the governing authority,” said Thomas.Assistant District Attorney Anne Kurtz disagreed, saying the county’s charter afforded Ellis no greater rights than any other county employee.  “Being a CEO does not make him above the law,” said Kurtz. “There is nothing in the Organizational Act that says this doesn’t apply to the CEO or that says the CEO is not an employee of DeKalb County.”Ellis faces 14 felony charges connected with allegations he strong-armed county vendors for campaign contributions.In a separate motion, prosecutors requested the judge throw out an affidavit given by former DeKalb prosecutor Don Geary. Geary testified in January he had viewed a secretly captured video of Ellis that Ellis attorneys say is being illegally withheld.In another motion, Ellis attorneys want testimony Ellis gave last year to a special grand jury to be tossed. They argue the District Attorney’s office lured Ellis into testifying so it could conduct an illegal raid on his home.The judge said she expects to rule on most of the case’s pretrial motions by the end of this week. The trial is set to begin June 2. Share ‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Partylast_img read more

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