30 April 2024

"William" Keith Ellis - A Closer Look

Hello, friends, and welcome back to TPC. 

So our old pal William Keith Ellis is running in the GOP primary for BOC 5 in this current election cycle (early voting started yesterday, by the way). 

Right off the bat, many have been pointing out that he's really been pushing his first name in this race rather than his middle name that he's always used in a presumed attempt to run from his political past. After his unceremonious single term as BOC Chair in which the home county embarked on a true jubilation when he, as an absolute persona non grata, announced he would not be running again, most thought we'd seen the end of his political career. 

But, not the case. 

So, since he is running, it seemed incumbent upon me to do this post. 

Here are some of TPC's "greatest hits" regarding the old feller: 

One of my personal favorites happened late in Keith's disastrous tenure, when he bizarrely claimed that two of the BOC Commissioners at the time were trying to blackmail him. 

Here's a guest post about Ellis that was penned by Samuel Hay III (back when we were still friendly) that really hit the nail on the head, I thought. 

One that was particularly galling to me had to do w/ one of the mitigation properties the county had previously bought for the was-never-gonna-happen Bear Creek Reservoir that had both Keith's as well WTC's fingerprints all over it. 

Presiding over a six seven hour BOC meeting when he'd developed a reputation for regularly presiding over three, four & five hour meetings (the People's time was way too valuable for that)

And also for your reading pleasure are some of Keith's "greatest hits" from other news outlets: 

Yeah, a no confidence vote is always a bad sign.

And the the infamous "loan" to JC was particularly ill received by many at the time. 

More than anything, during Keith's entire tenure of January 2013 - January 2017, it just seemed as if everything was chaos. Everything was bad. 


In my honest & heartfelt opinion, the last thing we need in the home county is a return of "William" Keith Ellis in any elected position. Been there, done that. 

***Also - in my opinion, a vote for William Keith Ellis is a vote to bring back William Thomas "Tommy" Craig, Esq. as county attorney*** 

Again, been there, done that. 

Until next time, 


19 April 2024

Tommy Craig Continues Ridin' the Newton Taxpayer Gravy Train, Compliments of Ezell & Marcus Jordan

*cross-posted at MB's Word on the Street 

 Friends, I remember it vividly, as I know many of you do as well.

That glorious moment in November of 2015 when the unthinkable happened. An event that many said would never happen: the home county finally ridded itself of its caustic county attorney, the one & only William Thomas “Tommy” Craig.

Hard to believe that’s been 8 & 1/2 years ago.

Unfortunately, before too long, the Newton County Sheriff - Ezell Brown - started to help his old friend out.

When Craig was the county atty making usually right around a cool million dollars per year, Brown was utilizing Craig as attorney for the Sheriff’s department, but was only paying him on average around $50K per annum.

But soon after Tommy got the boot from the county, Ezell’s payments to Craig exploded!

For several years those numbers grew. I reported on this a couple of times over the years over at TPC but wanted to give some current numbers for those interested.

Here it is:

For FY 2023, the most recent year for which full numbers exist, the Sheriff’s department paid Wm Thomas Craig, Esq. $315,447. It’s my understanding that a Sheriff of the size of Newton Co should NOT be paying anywhere near this sum.

It certainly ain’t chump change.

3/4 of the way through FY 2024 Ezell has already paid him $252,944 so it’s looking as if the ole fella will end up getting about the same amount here in a couple of months when we end the fiscal year at the end of June.

Ezell Brown has paid Tommy Craig upwards of $2 million over the last several years.

But he’s not the only one cutting checks to Craig.

Marcus Jordan, current Tax Commissioner for the home county, has also been utilizing Craig as legal counsel for his constitutional office. Has been for several years. His numbers haven’t been anywhere near the Sheriff’s, but is fairly considerable.

Tax Commish Payments to WTC:

FY2023: $29,825
FY2024 (through nine months): $21,925

So basically Tommy Craig has been making approx $350K per year just from Ezell & Jordan. Definitely not like the old days for him, but not too shabby. Probably was key to him fixing up the old place on College Ave a while back after it’d fallen into a pretty bad state of disrepair.

My, my, my…

A final thought.

As many know, it’s looking as if this current election cycle is a clear delineation of sides. The pro-Tommy Craig crew vs. the Anti-Craig slate. BOC 5, BOC 3, Clerk of Court, Tax Commish & the Chairman race. I believe they all have that same dynamic involved.

Stay tuned for the breakdown of all of those races.


’til next time,