By Ed Brock
A Clayton County police officer stopped Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill's personal car for going 22 mph over the speed limit, but did not give the sheriff's driver a ticket.
Sheriff's Deputy Pocco (no other name listed) was driving Hill's Jaguar with Hill as a passenger at the time Clayton County Police Officer Jimmy Cofield stopped him around 7:45 a.m. Feb. 5, according to Cofield's report. Cofield used a laser speed detection device to clock the Jaguar going 67 mph in a 45 mph zone on Tara Boulevard near North Main Street just outside Jonesboro.
After stopping the Jaguar, Cofield noticed that the car still bore a Georgia state representative tag. Hill served as a representative in the Georgia General Assembly before being elected sheriff.
Cofield approached the car and recognized Pocco and Hill. Before Cofield could tell them why he had stopped them, Hill told the officer that he knew why he stopped them and offered a valid Georgia tag for the car.
After telling Pocco and Hill that he had stopped them for speeding, he gave them a verbal warning and let them go.
Hill said he was on his way out of town when the traffic stop occurred, but he couldn't confirm that his deputy was speeding.
"It's not like I was looking at the speedometer," Hill said.
As for the tag, Hill said he has replaced the state representative tag with the proper tag.
"I bought the tag for the car but the car had been sitting for a while and I didn't have a chance to put the tag on it," Hill said.
When contacted about the traffic stop, Hill initially said the incident was "too silly to comment on." He also questioned why Cofield wrote the report even though he had not issued a citation. A former Clayton County police detective, Hill said he never knew officers to write reports when no citation was issued.
Clayton County Police Capt. Tim Robinson said it is not standard procedure for an officer to write a report under such circumstances, but he couldn't say why Cofield did write a report.
Also, Robinson said he did not know why Cofield did not write a ticket after the stop. Whether to write a ticket is left to the officer's discretion and is determined at the scene, Robinson said.
Efforts to reach Clayton County Police Chief Darrell Partain were unsuccessful.