Suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, center, walks arm-in-arm with supporters before a hearing in his corruption case Jan. 23. Photo by Travis Hudgons
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FRIDAY, JANUARY 31
, 2014 • VOL. 16, NO. 45 •
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
DeKalb welcomes the Year of the Horse
See New Year on page 13ASee Ellis on page 13A
Ellis hopes to have indictment dismissed
b y Kathy MitchellKathy@dekalbchamp.comMany people in DeKalb County are celebrating the New Year or the second time this January. While Jan. 1 marks the start o the year on the Gregorian cal-endar, this year the Chinese New Year also alls in Janu-ary—Jan. 31—with celebra-tions on, beore and afer the actual date.Chinese months ollow the lunar calendar and the New Year is celebrated at the second new moon afer the winter solstice, alling be-tween Jan. 21 and Feb. 19 on the Gregorian calendar. New Year estivities, one o the culture’s longest celebrations, traditionally start on the ﬁrst day o the lunar month—when the moon is dark— and continue until the 15th, when the moon is brightest. In China and around the world, the holiday is marked with colorul parades, music, dancing and easting. Te year just beginning, 4712, is the Year o the Horse—one o 12 animal zo-diac designations that repeat cyclically. Tose born in the Year o the Horse are said to be energetic, independent and enjoy travel. As the Year o the Horse comes in there have been celebrations large and small around DeKalb County, es-pecially in Chamblee—one o the most ethnically di- verse cities in the Southeast. Tey range rom an hour-long celebration or all ages at the library to a two-day estival at the aipei Eco-nomic & Cultural Center. Te library event was pre-sented the morning o Jan. 25 in conjunction with the Asian Paciﬁc American His-torical Society, and included traditional drumming, danc-ing, crafs and storytelling. Tat evening, the Na-tional Association o Chi-nese-Americans-Atlanta held a undraiser that drew a capacity crowd to the Canton House Restaurant on Buord Highway. With Consul General
as the guest o honor and
, chairwoman o the Coca-Cola Foundation, giv-ing the keynote address, the event eatured remarks rom by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comAccused o “shaking down” county contractors, suspended DeKalb County CEO
was in court Jan. 23-24 or a mo-tions hearing.Supporters prayed with Ellis beore the hearing and crowded into Superior Court Judge
’s courtroom wear-ing “I support Burrell Ellis” buttons.Ellis must answer to charges o bribery, perjury and thef by extortion in a 14-count re-indictment handed down Jan. 16. He was originally indicted by a special grand jury in June 2013. Te indictment con-taining 14 elonies came six months afer Ellis’ home and oﬃ ce were searched by investigators rom the DA’s Oﬃ ce as part o a special grand jury investigation into possible corruption at the county’s watershed de-partment. Afer the indict-ment, he was suspended rom oﬃ ce by Gov.
and replaced by in-terim CEO
.In one motion heard Jan. 23, the state unsuccessully attempted to prevent James rom testiying in the case.
, one o Ellis’ attorneys, said the evidence would “show that at the time o the special purpose grand jury was…granted by the court, the ocus was...on watershed management.”“Te ocus was not on the administration o CEO Ellis but o the prior CEO, Mr.
,” Gillen said. “I expect the evidence to show that when Mr. James personally took over control and direction o the special purpose grand jury that, without any basis or a reason to be investigating Mr. Ellis or anything,…Mr. James changed the ocus [and]…directed that the ocus be centered on Mr. Ellis.”James testiﬁed that the watershed department in- vestigation did not ocus primarily on Jones; several
Business ........................16AClassiﬁed .......................17AEducation ..............14-15ASports ......................18-20A
MENTORS ARE THE PROVERBIAL VILLAGE YOUNG AFRICANS SING AND DANCECLARKSTON HAS ITS FIRST SOMALIAN COUNCILMAN
LOCAL, 9ALOCAL, 2A
Entertainment from Line Chacha Dance is part of the evening’s festivities at the National Association of Chinese Americans Banquet.