0

Hill is first Clayton sheriff-elect under felony indictment to win office

Doubts linger on his ascension

By Kathy Jefcoats

kjefcoats@news-daily.com

JONESBORO — Clayton County sheriff-elect Victor Hill appears to have blocked an attempted coup by a write-in candidate, according to unofficial results Tuesday night.

However, doubts remain if he will assume the office Jan. 1.

Clayton County sheriff's Chief Deputy Garland Watkins qualified as a write-in candidate in September after Hill defeated incumbent Sheriff Kem Kimbrough in an August runoff. At midnight Tuesday, with 53 of 60 precincts counted, Watkins earned a respectable 13,346 votes or 17 percent of 76,199 votes cast. Hill had 60,929 or 76 percent.

Hill, 47, is under a 32-count felony indictment stemming from crimes he allegedly committed while serving as the county's first black sheriff from 2005 to 2008.

With 53 of 60 precincts accounted for at midnight, voter turnout was at 50 percent.

Hill's victory as an elected sheriff under felony indictment is also a first for Clayton County. While it is difficult to pinpoint why voters chose the embattled Hill over a candidate without baggage, Clayton County's Democratic Party Chairman Albert Barker offered an explanation.

"When Victor was sheriff before, people felt protected," said Barker Tuesday night. "If something was going wrong in the county, there was always a car there from the sheriff's office."

Although facing an uncertain future, Hill garnered more than 75 percent of the votes, according to preliminary results. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. Watkins declined to comment.

Hill's trial was set for Nov. 26 but that has been delayed by up to a year by the filing of an appeal by the state. Last month, trial Judge Albert Collier dismissed five counts, all of which concerned alleged misuse of campaign funds.

Special prosecutor Layla Zon of Alcovy Circuit appealed the dismissal and Hill's four defense attorneys objected. Collier ruled late Friday the state could continue with the appeal. It could take the higher court up to a year to decide on the appeal, delaying the start of the trial.

Meanwhile, Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to block Hill's ascension to office by appointing an interim sheriff. Hill's law enforcement certification was suspended by Peace Officers Training and Standards Council until his criminal case is resolved. Under Georgia law, an elected sheriff has six months in which to gain valid certification or he becomes ineligible to hold office.

POST officials won't restore Hill's eligibility if he is convicted of a felony. As a convicted felon, he is ineligible to hold office.

Staff writer Curt Yeomans contributed to this article.

Comments

OscarKnight 1 year, 5 months ago

....Should We Be Surprised By These Voters in Clayton County ?

....Now; The citizens Georgia will have something to rub Clayton County's face into.

0

OscarKnight 1 year, 5 months ago

,,,Shameful & Disgraceful to say the least..

0

OscarKnight 1 year, 5 months ago

....Riddle Me with this Pop Quiz :

.......How Far Can Stupidity Reach It's Own Limit ?

......Clue : Stuck in Stupidity on Dysfunctional Undertow of Clayton County, Ga.

0

Robert 1 year, 5 months ago

Let's give Hill the full credit due him. Victor Hill, the first black Sheriff-elect to win under indictment. Such a noble title. No Oscar, we shouldn't be surprised. Sadly, not surprised at all. Clayton County has fallen under a curse in more ways than just Victor Hill.

1

OscarKnight 1 year, 5 months ago

...Robert; Thank You for these comforting words, while I sit in this fox hole.

1

GospelTruth 1 year, 5 months ago

My neighborhood was plastered with Garland Watkins signs. He seemed to have overwhelming support conscientious voters. Numerous signs supporting Watkins were also sighted around historic downtown on citizens trucks/cars and on local businesses.

Other news sources report voters could not remember Watkins name when voting. Many did not understand Watkins name would NOT be on the ballot, so registering an (automated) vote for him would require typing in his name. Sigh...

All is not lost, however. Due to Victor Hill's criminal trial, Governor Deal will may create a 3 member panel to appoint a new sheriff. The Governor's panel will be made up of the attorney general and 2 sheriffs from surrounding counties

Note to the Governor's panel: Give us Garland Watkins!

0

OscarKnight 1 year, 5 months ago

GospelTruth; I feel your pain.

0

teach 1 year, 5 months ago

He will be found not guilty...remember this trial will be held in Clayton County!

0

OscarKnight 1 year, 5 months ago

......Yea; This is worrisome. Remember who voted Victor into office !!!

0

nate51 1 year, 5 months ago

I question the intelligence of anyone who voted for Hill.

0

OscarKnight 1 year, 5 months ago

.....And those that couldn't remember Sandra Scott.........What happened in this county that made so many, so stupid, in such a short period of time ?

0

OscarKnight 1 year, 5 months ago

.....WOULD SOMEONE, PLEASE TURN OFF THE STUPID SWITCH IN CLAYTON COUNTY !!!!

1

Robert 1 year, 5 months ago

I saw this and thought about your comment.

None

by Robert

1

OscarKnight 1 year, 5 months ago

.....Sad, but True......Makes for going out, nothing but a disgusting adventure in this county.

0

OscarKnight 1 year, 5 months ago

....Robert; This picture, "I see dumb people....they're everywhere. They around walk like everyone else. They don't even know that they're dumb", is probably the most saddest, but factual statement that I have ever read. I keep coming back to this; Sad, True, but also Funny picture !!!!!......This could be on a billboard, at the Clayton County line as a reminder, just our bragging rights of being the dumbest county in The South.

1

Robert 1 year, 5 months ago

I often travel out of state and once I saw this idiot coming up in my rear view mirror, speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, cutting people off and I thought to myself that this guy drives like he's from Clayton County. Sure enough when he passed me it was a Georgia tag with a Clayton County decal.

I always know that I have come back home when I see bags of garbage strewn on the side of the roads from people to sorry to carry their trash to the dumpster.

Oh the list goes on and on.

0

OscarKnight 1 year, 5 months ago

......Robert; Coming Back Home is always disgusting.

......It seems as though that our human civilization has left town, without leaving a forwarding address.

.

0

Robert 1 year, 5 months ago

I remember when men acted like men, women acted like ladies and children acted like children well into their teens.

Today I see children back talking their parents and growing up to fast and the adults acting like spoiled entitled brats.

0

OscarKnight 1 year, 5 months ago

.....Robert; Memories fades very fast in this lopsided uncontrolled society...Clayton County is the benchmark of our new dysfunctional generation. They are taught to be this way by example.....Disgusting it might seem, but, it's the truth.

0

OscarKnight 1 year, 2 months ago

....Every single day, that passes, Clayton County takes one step towards self made mass destruction.......Welcome to The Obamanation of Clayton County, Georgia.

0

Sign in to comment