Indicted DeKalb Co. CEO Burrell Ellis addresses employees - CBS46 News

Indicted DeKalb Co. CEO Burrell Ellis addresses employees

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DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis held a meeting at 12:30 p.m. Monday in the Maloof Auditorium at 1300 Commerce Dr. in downtown Decatur.

Ellis called it an "employee assembly" where he made a statement to county employees about his pending criminal case.

"I know the events of the last week caught everybody by surprise, but I want to say to you clearly and directly from me to you, what I've been saying all along," said Ellis. "I have done nothing wrong. I want you to hear that directly from me."

The meeting was less than a week after a DeKalb County grand jury returned a 15-count indictment against Ellis.

The indictment contains 14 felonies which include extortion, theft by taking and conspiracy. Ellis is accused of illegally pressuring contractors into giving him campaign contributions.

Sanitation worker Eddie Freeman said he didn't attend the meeting to hear about Ellis' legal problems.

"If he's here to defend that he shouldn't have called us here for that because I can't support it and I can't be against it," said Freeman. "I don't know anything about what he's being indicted about."

Freeman wanted to Ellis to be specific about helping city employees for a union and pay raises.

"We want to know where we are with the union," said Freeman. "We want to know is this really going to happen or are you just talking."

Parks and Rec employee Earl Jones said he thought Ellis was going to make a profound statement.

"I expected to hear him say he was stepping down," said Jones.

Ellis didn't step down, but he did address unions and pay raises.

"I've implemented a living wage increase for our lowest paid employees, but we're not done yet. We're working on a cost of living increase for all of our employees in our 2014 budget," said Ellis.

"He's talking about getting a cost of living raise in 2014. Most of us haven't had a raise in eight years," said Jones.

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