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Lawyers for Burrell Ellis, Prosecutors Argue Over Evidence in Court

Suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis is in court fighting charges he pressured contractors for campaign donations.

Suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis is under indictment. File|Patch
Suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis is under indictment. File|Patch

Lawyers for suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, who is battling corruption charges, argued in court Monday that prosecutors have not shared all evidence and urged that prosecutors should be removed from the case.

Ellis was indicted last summer by a DeKalb grand jury on charges he illegally pressured contractors into giving him campaign contributions.

Ellis’ lawyers have asked a judge to dismiss the 14 felony charges that accuse him of shaking down county vendors for campaign donations and punishing those who did not give, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ellis has denied the charges.

Defense attorneys said Monday that while only one video recording of Ellis has been turned over in the case, testimony from various prosecutors has disagreed, and one referred to Ellis wearing different clothes than shown in the video. This prompted Ellis’ lawyers to argue there must be more videos that have gone undisclosed.

They want the court to order the district attorney’s office to turn over his computer to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for review, the newspaper reports.

“If there are no images, then there is no discovery issue. If there are, then we have some serious ramifications in this courtroom,” defense attorney Dwight Thomas said.

Prosecutors, who are also challenging a motion to disqualify the DA’s office from the case, said they had turned over all recordings – the one video and several hundred hours of audio recordings made.

“There is only one video and it was turned over six months ago,” assistant district attorney Cynthia Hill said. “Just repeating that claim (of more videos) over and over and over again doesn’t make it true.”

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