0

D.A.'s husband a sheriff's deputy

By Justin Boron

Lee Scott, Clayton County political baron and husband of District Attorney Jewel Scott, also is a deputy for Sheriff Victor Hill.

Since February, Hill said Scott has held a reserve deputy position, which amounts to a volunteer.

Scott, who has backed Hill politically, would require law enforcement certification before he would be issued a weapon and put to work in the field.

But Hill said he doesn't think that will happen anyway because Scott may have too much on his plate already.

"I don't know if he's going to have the time to dedicate as I thought he did," Hill said.

Scott's position also is part of the sheriff's plans to build a reserve deputy program that could supply extra staff at the Sheriff's Office without tying up too much budget money, Hill said.

Scott said he became a deputy for security reasons.

"I wish to protect my family, my wife, the integrity of our family life," he said.

It isn't out of the ordinary for a sheriff to deputize several semi-officials to supplement manpower or for morale, said Terry Norris, the director of the Georgia Sheriffs' Association, Inc.

Because a sheriff has the power to deputize, he often gives community members reserve or honorary status, which is more a ceremonial title than a position that would actually work for the sheriff, he said.

Hill also has invited County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell, with whom he has squabbled, to become an honorary lieutenant colonel.

In a letter to the News Daily, Hill wrote, "If Commissioner Bell will accept, I am going to swear him in as an honorary lieutenant colonel in the Sheriff's Office, issue him a gun and badge, and invite him to ride with me as I patrol the streets of Clayton County. This could be a beautiful reunion of an old crime fighter from the past teaming up with an inspiring young crime fighter."

Hill said if Bell accepts, he would make good on his invitation.

But in a sign of the level of Hill's sincerity, he acknowledged that there was some humor behind the invitation.

"If (Bell) does not accept my offer, I hope that he gets just as good a laugh out of this as my staff and I got," he said in the letter.

Several attempts to reach Bell for comment were unsuccessful.