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Judge to hear narcotics case

By Justin Boron

Just hours after Sheriff-elect Victor Hill enjoined the county commission Tuesday night from acting on a measure that would have transferred Sheriff Department's narcotics unit to county police supervision, a court hearing was scheduled for today that will likely decide the outcome of the sought after department.

The rapidly developing issue has bred contention in Hill, who says the move is a vindictive attempt to strip him of power before he takes office in January.

County Commission Chairman Crandle Bray said the issue would have come up regardless of whether Hill won, or incumbent Sheriff Stanley Tuggle retained the office.

Hill has defined Bray as his adversary in the conflict saying, "Crandle Bray plays checkers, I play chess."

Discussion about moving the department has crept through the current county administration in the months since Hill's victory.

But those talks reached an apex this week when the county commission placed two items on its business agenda that would have moved the narcotics and crime scene investigations units to the county police department.

Hill gained an emergency temporary restraining order from Superior Court Judge Albert Collier at 5:30 Tuesday, just hours before the county commission was prepared to act on the two items.

The commission subsequently deleted the items from its agenda.

County Attorney Don Comer said the hearing came suddenly because there were several problems with the court order that were not presented when Collier signed it.

"We had no chance to respond," he said. "The judge should've never signed the restraining order."

Comer would not elaborate on the arguments planned for today but he said the evidence presented would likely squash the order.

The hearing will take place at the Clayton County Courthouse in room 401 at 10 a.m.

County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell said he would not interfere in the conflict.