New judge assigned in Hill discrimination case

By Justin Boron

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. will hear the federal discrimination against Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill instead of Judge Charles Moye.

Moye was assigned the case initially because of a mistake in the clerk's office, Chief Judge Orinda D. Evans ruled.

He had presided over the case since January.

John Stivarius, Hill's attorney in the case, had charged that the attorney representing 33 sheriff employees was "judge shopping."

Miller denied the allegation and then accused Hill of seeking Judge Clarence Cooper, the only African-American judge on the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division.

Evans said in the order the case should have been assigned to Cooper. But he expressed an intent to recuse himself and should be excluded from the case, Evans' order said.

Monday Stivarius said he was pleased that the integrity of the system had been maintained.

Miller said he expected Thrash to be just as fair as Moye.

But he said he thought reassigning the case was a poor use of judicial resources because Moye already knew the case whereas Thrash will be starting fresh.