Burrell Ellis surrenders law license for year

Imprisoned DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, convicted in July of attempted extortion and perjury, has voluntarily surrendered his law license for at least 12 months.

According to an order from the Georgia Supreme Court, his license to practice law is suspended while he appeals his conviction for trying shake down Power and Energy Services for a $2,500 campaign contribution and lying under oath about his role in awarding county contracts when questioned before a special purpose grand jury.

Ellis is serving his 18-month prison term at Long State Prison in Ludowici. He could be paroled in March, according to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.

According to the order released Monday, Ellis acknowledged that a felon cannot practice law, and he will be disbarred if his felony conviction is upheld.

“The court hereby accepts the voluntary petition and directs that W. Burrell Ellis, Jr. be suspended from the practice of law in this state until further order of this court,” the order said.

His appeal is pending.

Ellis practiced real estate law before he was elected in 2008 to the first of two terms leading DeKalb County.

He retains the title of chief executive officer because he has not resigned the job and he can't be permanently removed until all his appeals have failed. The governor appointed Lee May interim CEO when Ellis was suspended in July 2013 after he was indicted.