Suspended DeKalb County CEO wants district attorney removed - CBS46 News

Suspended DeKalb County CEO wants district attorney removed from case

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis is expected to take the stand Friday in his corruption case.

The judge is hearing motions filed by Ellis and his defense team. They are trying to get DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James removed from the case and video and audio evidence of Ellis thrown out.

Ellis answered charges Thursday in a new indictment handed down last week. He waived his rights to a formal arraignment. The new charges include perjury, bribery and extortion.

Ellis is accused of extorting campaign contributions from companies that did business in DeKalb County.

James charged Ellis in a 14-count indictment accusing Ellis of shaking down vendors doing business with the county.

Ellis called the charges a political witch hunt.

"I am innocent of the charges against me. They are politically motivated," Ellis replied in a YouTube vide released last week.

Thursday his attorneys questioned James about wire taps and a video recording of Ellis. James said his office has recordings of Ellis shaking down vendors.

"There were audio tapes of the CEO shaking down vendors. There were vendors who came in and told us the CEO had shaken them down. The CEO had already lied to the grand jury once," James testified Thursday.

Ellis and his attorneys accuse James of abusing his authority as district attorney and said interim CEO Lee May was James' inside man.

Ellis was indicted on 15 counts by a grand jury in June of last year. After the indictment, Gov. Nathan Deal suspended him from office.

Stay with CBSAtlanta.com for updates on this story.

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