ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10/CNN) – Clayton County is still shelling out Sheriff Victor Hill’s paychecks after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp suspended him following a review of Hill’s indictment on federal civil rights charges, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Clayton County Commission Chairman Jeff Turner says that Hill was suspended with pay.
Kemp suspended Hill after a commission found Hill’s indictment adversely affects the administration of the sheriff’s office, according to an executive order released from Kemp’s office.READ MORE: Red Tide Current Status In Southwest Florida
Hill was indicted in April for allegedly ordering his employees to use excessive force against four pretrial detainees, according to a release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. Staff at the Clayton County Jail, allegedly on orders from Hill, strapped pretrial detainees into a restraint chair “for a period exceeding that justified by any legitimate nonpunitive government purpose” in four separate incidents in 2020.
Hill pleaded not guilty and was released on signature bond, according to his attorneys.
Following the suspension, Hill issued a statement on his Facebook page.
“Today, I have been placed on suspension until I am exonerated in court,” Hill said.
“I am very honored to have the outpour of support I have received and I thank you all for it,” he said. “I will take this time to train and meditate so that when I return, any ground loss will be regained. Until then may GOD bless you all, and may he continue to bless Clayton County.”
In Wednesday’s order, Kemp said he appointed members in May to a review commission to determine whether the indictment “relates to and adversely affects the administration of the office of Clayton County Sheriff such that the rights and interests of the public are adversely affected.”
The commission’s report, published Tuesday, recommended Hill be suspended from office. Kemp’s executive order suspends Hill “without further action pending the final disposition of the case or until the expiration of his term of office.”READ MORE: Columbus Couple Charged With Wire Fraud And Theft Of Government Property
CNN has reached out to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office.
Hill was first elected as Clayton County sheriff in 2004 and lost a reelection bid four years later. He won in 2012 to return to the position and most recently was reelected last year as an unopposed candidate.
As sheriff, Hill has not been without controversy, aspiring to the image of a tough-on-crime administrator who activists and critics have felt has abused the powers. On his first day in office in 2005, he fired 27 deputies and had them escorted out of their building as snipers were positioned outside, according to CNN affiliate WSB. Courts intervened and the deputies were later reinstated.
Hill’s press releases refer to the Clayton County Jail as the “Hill-ton” and call it “Georgia’s toughest para-military jail.”
In 2013, he was acquitted on more than two dozen charges alleging he had used the office for personal gain, according to WSB.
In 2015, Hill fired a pistol that struck and wounded a friend at her workplace in Gwinnett County, according to CNN affiliate WXIA. The victim told authorities the shooting was accidental and Hill continued his tenure as sheriff.
Last year, the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department was involved in an excessive use-of-force incident, which the department said was subject to an internal investigation requested by Hill. The deputy in question was fired shortly after.
The story was updated to include video.MORE NEWS: Valdosta Man Convicted With Federal Firearm Charge
©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to the story.