By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
DeKalb County CEO found guilty
Placeholder Image

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A suspended DeKalb County official accused of pressuring vendors for campaign contributions has been found guilty of perjury and attempted theft by extortion.

The verdicts were announced late Wednesday morning in the trial of suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Ellis was acquitted of five other counts on charges that included bribery, WSB-TV reported.

A jury of six men and six women had deliberated for more than four days before reaching the verdicts on Wednesday.

Ellis maintained his innocence, saying he made phone calls but didn't threaten anyone or take action against vendors' contracts. His attorney and wife declined comment to the Journal-Constitution, the newspaper reported.

He now faces up to 15 years behind bars and is to be sentenced later, CBS 46 reported. His bond has been revoked, and he will remain jailed for now unless a bond hearing is requested.

In 2013, prosecutors alleged in an indictment that Ellis tried to extort campaign contributions from companies and their employees. They said he instructed a country official to to prevent some companies from getting business because they didn't contribute to his campaign.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced after the indictment that he would suspend Ellis. That announcement came shortly after a three-person panel that was assembled by the governor voted unanimously to recommend the suspension.

This week's trial was the second for Ellis. The first trial ended in a mistrial after more than a week of jury deliberations.