DeKalb CEO Ellis discusses transition, updates during final days in office

December 30, 20162min570
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DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis says his staff has been working to transition to the county’s new administration under Michael Thurmond, who will be sworn in as the new CEO on Jan. 13.

“We have made ourselves readily available and provided information as requested. Our staff is putting briefing materials together for that team,” Ellis said during a meeting with the press on Dec. 29.

Ellis met with reporters to field questions and provide updates as he prepares to exit office.

Ellis returned in December with only about two weeks left to serve after the Georgia Supreme Court overturned his attempted extortion conviction and spending time incarcerated.

Ellis said his last days in office have included making budget recommendations, including about $1 million to address blight; $793,000 for the county’s ethics board and auditor; and a raise of $6,000 in base pay for sanitation workers.

“Our frontline employees in the sanitation department, we believe, are deserving of a raise,” Ellis said

Ellis said he has been meeting with employees and commissioners, re-engaging with the community through his Holiday Open House and visiting senior centers. Ellis honored 25 community heroes on Dec. 27 and thanked them for their volunteer work and service.

Ellis didn’t discuss his court battles much, saying he couldn’t go into detail.

“I have always maintained my integrity throughout this process. That’s the kind of person I am and that’s the kind of public servant I am,” Ellis said. “I feel good that justice has finally been served in that situation.”

The case against Ellis is still pending until District Attorney Sherry Boston, who takes office in January, makes a decision on whether to attempt to retry Ellis.

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