DeKalb purchasing director resigns after testifying

A key witness in the trial of DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis resigned Tuesday after testifying that he lied under oath and accepted gifts from county contractors.

DeKalb Purchasing Director Kelvin Walton quit as a jury continued to deliberate charges that Ellis strong-armed contractors into giving him campaign contributions.

Walton had been suspended with pay since April, when Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May said the accusations against him had become a distraction. Walton continued to receive his $153,000 annual salary during his suspension.

Also Tuesday, May fired Nina Hall, who was Ellis’ former assistant. Hall invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 30 times when she testified in Ellis’ trial.

Walton secretly recorded Ellis for months after prosecutors confronted him about his lies to a special grand jury in 2012. Walton said he decided to work for prosecutors rather than face potential criminal charges.

Walton admitted lying when he told the special grand jury he didn’t solicit unpaid work from a landscaper who had a tree removal contract with the county at the time.

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