One of the expected star witnesses in the state’s case against Burrell Ellis was given three polygraph examinations last year to determine whether he solicited bribes from DeKalb County vendors.
Kelvin Walton, who heads the county’s Purchasing and Contracting Department, did not pass a single test, court motions filed this week say. During the conclusion of the final test, the polygraph examiner ridiculed Walton, who continued to deny wrongdoing, according to the motions filed by Ellis’ legal team.
“You set the history of lying,” the examiner, who was not identified in the motions, told Walton. “Why should anyone believe you?”
Walton’s lawyer, Art Leach, said Friday that he would not comment on Ellis’ court motions. “Mr. Walton will do all of his talking in the courtroom in this case when called upon during the trial,” Leach said.
The motions allege that Walton failed to tell the truth, and that is what led the high-ranking county employee to become a confidential informant for the District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors used Walton to secretly record meetings and phone conversations he had with Ellis and others, the motions say.
Walton, who remains on the job, has been identified in court records as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the case against Ellis. Last year, after DeKalb authorities launched their political corruption investigation, they began asking Walton whether he was a corrupt county employee.
During a May 17, 2012, polygraph examination, he was asked whether he solicited money from a DeKalb vendor, only identified in the court motion as “Mr. X.” Walton also was asked whether he received cash from this person at a Walmart. The examiner determined that Walton did not pass the test because the results were inconsistent, the motions said.
On July 11, 2012, Walton sat for another polygraph and was asked whether he solicited cash from Mr. X, whether he ever solicited money from a DeKalb vendor and whether he ever received anything of value to award a contract to a vendor. This time, the motions said, Walton was given a caveat: “other than what you have told (law enforcement) about?”
At the end of this test, the examiner told Walton: “You failed the (expletive) out of this test,” the motions say. “You failed all of (the answers).”
When Walton said, “I have not asked no vendors for bribes,” the examiner said he could not believe him, the motions say.
Five days later, Walton was given yet another polygraph and was asked about an individual only identified as “Mr. Z.” Walton was asked four questions, including whether he had ever accepted a bribe from this person and whether the individual had ever done anything to influence Walton concerning a DeKalb contract.
At the end of this test, the examiner told Walton he had badly failed three of the four questions, the motions say. “Where does it stop, Kelvin?” the examiner asked.