Deal pressured to suspend sheriff
by The Associated Press
December 03, 2012 12:33 AM | 570 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ATLANTA — The Georgia Sheriff’s Association wants Gov. Nathan Deal to start proceedings for suspending Clayton County’s sheriff-elect as he prepares to take office despite facing a felony indictment, but recent history shows Georgia governors don’t like to get involved in such cases.

Georgia law allows governors to appoint the state’s attorney general and two fellow sheriffs to investigate and recommend whether a sheriff facing criminal or ethics charges should be suspended, with pay, pending the outcome of the case.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that’s a power governors are reluctant to wield. The sheriffs’ association has sought six such proceedings since 2004, but only once has a governor agreed to start the legal process for a sheriff’s removal.

The association hopes Deal will buck that trend and agree to seek suspension for Clayton County Sheriff-elect Victor Hill. He’s been indicted on 32 felony charges stemming from a prior term he served as sheriff from 2005 to 2008. Despite the legal troubles, Hill won a comeback bid in the November elections.

“We’re the sheriffs. We’re the ones who put people in jail for doing wrong,” said Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, who as president of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association is pushing for Hill’s suspension.

Still, governors have often been hesitant to intervene in what they consider local matters. In Hill’s case there’s also the potential for a racial outcry. Hill is black, as are most voters in Clayton County.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides