In the meantime, Ellis has been indicted on charges of theft, extortion and conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty and strongly disputes the charges. Ross has not been charged with misconduct.
In his two-page order, McBurney indicated that he would have ordered the grand jurors’ release if the DA’s appeal was no longer pending.
Under a plain reading of the law, the grand jurors “are long overdue such basic relief and courtesy,” McBurney wrote. But they “are already pursuing this same end — release from service — by way of appeal.”
Separately, McBurney declined to grant Scott’s request that the special grand jurors’ lawsuit against him be dismissed.
A spokesman for the DeKalb DA’s office, which is representing the grand jurors, declined to comment on McBurney’s ruling.
Attorney Gary Freed, who represents Scott, said, “We believe that the petition should be dismissed, but appreciate Judge McBurney’s perspective on the matter.”