State-appointed panel recommends DeKalb CEO suspension - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

State-appointed panel recommends DeKalb CEO suspension

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A state-appointed panel has recommended that DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis should be suspended from office, FOX 5's Paul Yates reports.
 
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Rockdale County CEO Richard Oden and Clayton County Commission Chairman Jeffrey Turner to join Attorney General Sam Olens on the panel.
 
Prosecutors say Ellis tried to extort campaign contributions from companies and their employees. Prosecutors allege Ellis instructed the county's director of purchasing and contracting to prevent some companies from getting business because they didn't contribute to his campaign.

The governor will now have the final say if Ellis will be suspended.
 
Ellis has denied any wrongdoing. He responded to the panel's recommendation on Monday.

"Obviously we're disappointed by that ruling, and now everything's in the governor's hands  and so we'll await his decision," Ellis said. "I will abide by that decision. Should the governor make a decision to suspend, then I will devote myself 100 percent towards defending myself against these unsubstantiated and unprecedented, I might add, charges."
 
If Gov. Deal moves to suspend the CEO, county guidelines call for the county commission presiding officer, Lee May, to become interim CEO. The governor could take steps on his own to make an interim appointment.

A decision is expected later this week.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press Modified. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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