As suspended DeKalb County, Ga., CEO Burrell Ellis prepares for his retrial that begins on Monday morning, he will surprisingly face four fewer charges. Prosecutors have not provided an explanation for the reduced charges.
There are still nine charges against Ellis, compared to the 13 in the first trial that lasted nearly two months.
District Attorney Robert James decided not to move forward with two theft counts and two coercion counts, according to an order signed by Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson on Thursday, according to WSBTV.
Nevertheless, Ellis still faces felony charges that could send him to prison for many years, including extortion, bribery and perjury charges. He is being accused of shaking down county contractors who wanted to do business with the county into giving him sizable campaign contributions.
Ellis has maintained his innocence from the beginning and the first trial ended in a hung jury because the jurors were unable to come to a consensus on any of the counts against him.
Prosecutors did not divulge why they dropped four counts against Ellis. Moreover, the defense is prevented from speaking on the matter due to a gag order issued by the judge in the case.
The dismissed charges alleged that Ellis ordered county employees during work hours to create lists of vendors that he could then use to solicit campaign contributions, according to the indictment in the case.