CLAYTON COUNTY – The trial of Victor Hill has been delayed for up to a year, which could impact whether or not he is sworn in as Clayton county’s new sheriff. Hill, a Democrat who has no Republican challenger in the general election, but does face a write in candidate could conceivably see his job as sheriff postponed if his criminal case isn’t resolved by then. That decision may be left up to Governor Nathan Deal to decide, depending on whether Hill wins on November 6th.
“What we hope will happen is that the governor will suspend him on the day he takes office,” said Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, president of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association.
Hill, who served as Clayton County sheriff in 2005-2008, was indicted last January on 37 felony charges — including four counts of racketeering — that accuse him of using his office and his 2008 re-election campaign funds for his personal benefit.
Last week, Clayton County Superior Court Judge Albert Collier dismissed five charges — two racketeering and three theft by taking charges involving campaign money. He said the theft charges are unwarranted because the funds belong to Hill and there is no victim. Misuse of campaign funds, which could be an alternative to the theft charges, is a misdemeanor, Collier wrote, and a racketeering charge requires at least two felony counts to support it. Hill was supposed to go on trial next month. A spokesperson for Governor Deal, says he will not make a decision until after the election.