Former Clayton County sheriff, Victor Hill, bonded out of the Gwinnett County Jail Friday afternoon as a reported state investigation into another Clayton County deputy started.
Hill was indicted Wednesday on 37 counts of theft, lying, racketeering, influencing a witness, and violation of oath of public office. He spent two nights in jail before a Jonesboro bonding company, Jam Bonding, posted his $62,500 bail. He was released at about 3 p.m., Friday.
One of his former clerks, and reported live-in girlfriend, Beatrice Powell, was also indicted. She is accused of lying to a special purpose grand jury about her relationship with Hill. She surrendered Thursday evening on three counts of perjury, and one of theft by taking. She posted a $20,000 bond several hours later.
Clayton County Superior Court records show the pair are scheduled for arraignment Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 9 a.m. Their cases have been assigned to Superior Court Judge Geronda Carter.
Sheriff's Lt. Brian Crisp said late Friday evening that Deputy Terry Jerome Lee has been arrested, following an internal investigation. Crisp said Lee has been charged with obstruction in an investigation that also involves the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Crisp was unable to provide more details, but said he hoped to release more information next week.
Hill was elected Clayton County's first black sheriff in 2004. He served one term and was defeated in a re-election bid in 2008, by Sheriff Kem Kimbrough. Hill contends that the case against him is politically motivated and designed to keep him out of office.
However, as he was led out of a courtroom Wednesday, to be booked into jail on the 37 counts, he reassured the public: "I'm still running for sheriff."
There is precedence in Clayton to have a candidate in legal trouble, not only on the ballot, but to win his race. In 2000, Coroner Marshall Newsome, then 48, won re-election in a landslide over a write-in candidate, despite having been convicted, two months before, of 80 counts involving federal Medicaid fraud.
Newsome was sentenced Nov. 30, 2000, to 96 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and 60 hours maximum of community service.
He was ordered to pay $12.7 million in restitution and an $8,000 special assessment, according to the Georgia Attorney General. He was also ordered to forfeit property in Riverdale that included a funeral home.
The Clayton County coroner's office has since been abolished. Medical examiners from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab conduct autopsies, when needed.