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Federal contempt vacated against Hill

By Justin Boron

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill must ask permission from a federal judge before he takes any personnel action on the sheriff employees directly affected by the 27 firings that came on Hill's first day on the job.

But U.S. District Court Judge Charles Moye did give him permission to make changes to employees below the rank of correctional officers.

A consent order agreed upon by both parties in a federal discriminaton suit against Hill also removes a motion for contempt filed two weeks ago by the 27 fired employees' attorney, Harlan Miller.

In a separate portion of litigation involving Hill, a Superior Court judge is scheduled to hear argmuments on Thursday pertaining to the question of sheriff employees' protection under the Clayton County Civil Service Act, which requires just cause for dismissals.

The ruling is expected to have some impact on the outcome of the federal case because Hill has maintained he had the legal right to dismiss the employees, saying the Sheriff's Office had not technically been brought under the law.

County government officials contend the Sheriff's Office has historically operated under the law.