When Victor Hill was elected Clayton County Sheriff in 2004, he vowed to clean things up. Instead, the opposite has happened. It was a bad omen when Hill fired 27 county employees on his first day in office and had them escorted from the workplace with snipers on the roof.
By 2008, Clayton County voters had enough of Hill’s reforms when they elected Kem Kimbrough as the new sheriff. Now in 2012, voters have given the boot to Kimbrough and brought back Hill who received nearly 54% of the vote in a two-man run-off election. The general election is in November but since no Republicans ran, Hill will be the only candidate on the ballot.
That is not the real story though.
Earlier this year, Hill was arrested on a 37-count indictment that accused him of running the county like his own fiefdom. Hill was even jailed in January of this year.
Back in January, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution summarized the charges against Hill.
The 37-count indictment against Hill says he used county cars for getaways and county credit cards for shopping sprees, and tapped county employees for his own campaign and charity events.
He also took money for himself from his re-election campaign account, according to the charges in the 51-page indictment that came Wednesday based on a grand jury investigation.
The indictment charges Hill with four counts of racketeering, 29 counts of theft by taking, two counts of making a false statement and one count each of violation of oath of a public officer and influencing a witness.
Of course, Hill claims that he is innocent and the charges are about politics.
Seven months later, Hill is the new sheriff in the county. He is also one quite familiar with its jail.
Hill released a statement after his election, thanking God and warning criminals.
“Tonight, I am humbled by God and the support of the Clayton County voters and accept their will to serve once again, as Sheriff of Clayton County. I want to thank the many volunteers, advisors and friends that worked tirelessly over the last few months to make tonight’s victory a reality. As promised, I want to advise those who prey on others by breaking into homes, robbing businesses and drug trafficking to stop or leave Clayton while you still can. Your presence is not wanted and your lawlessness will not be tolerated. I want to thank everyone once again. May God bless you all and may God bless Clayton County.”
Hill can thank and warn all he likes, but he may not serve his second term. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has the prerogative to suspend Hill from serving, pending his trial.
Although Hill won the election, there are many people unhappy with the prospect of his return to the county’s top law enforcement position.
“All I can say is that Victor Hill is like a bad ant bed. Scary to stumble across and hard to get rid of,” responded an attorney who has represented deputies in a lawsuit against the county.