Tucker Company Blamed for Damaging Houses

Desmear Systems is part of a grand jury report alleging corruption in DeKalb's water department.

Former DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis shortly before his suspension. Credit: Kevin Madigan
Former DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis shortly before his suspension. Credit: Kevin Madigan
An engineering firm in Tucker is being blamed for damaging houses in a south DeKalb neighborhood.

Desmear Systems, based at 2130 LaVista Executive Park Drive, was contracted by the county to do granite blasting work at the Snapfinger Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, according to WSB. But residents of the nearby Camelot subdivision complained of cracks appearing in their homes and driveways after the project began.

Desmear was chosen after they gave a campaign donation to former DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, according to the report. But the company was suspended from the project in September after numerous complaints and a grand jury is now looking into the affair. Critics said Desmear was not qualified to do the job, WSB reported.

Ellis is under indictment on multiple counts, including extortion, theft by taking and several conspiracy charges. He illegally pressured contractors and vendors into giving him campaign contributions, the indictment stated.  

Camelot residents were given until Dec. 20 to file damage claims with DeKalb County. 


Kevin Madigan (Editor) December 31, 2013 at 08:38 PM
From Jeff Bragg via email: He (Ellis) was indicted by a local grand jury, charged and arrested by order of the DeKalb District Attorney, and will be tried in a state court. This also raises the possibility of a locally negotiated plea bargain package with some of the other unindicted co-conspirators. Second, these events emerged as a result of a Special Grand Jury review of problems in the Watershed construction management. Third, the biggest problem with the work of Desmears looks like total incompetence. The details in the Special Grand Jury report lead me to believe that Desmears is a fraudulent false-front company taking advantage of DeKalb's minority/female business opportunity program.


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