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Voice of the People: Tuggle attorney threatens BOC over Hill settlement

Attorney Bill Atkins warns county commissioners against rejecting a settlement reached between his client, Tuggle, and Hill Tuesday. The commission has not publicly taken action to approve or reject the settlement.

Attorney Bill Atkins warns county commissioners against rejecting a settlement reached between his client, Tuggle, and Hill Tuesday. The commission has not publicly taken action to approve or reject the settlement.

— The Clayton County Board of Commissioners could be sued if it refuses to pay a court settlement stemming from actions Sheriff Victor Hill took nearly a decade ago, an attorney warned Tuesday.

It has been eight years since Hill had Mark Tuggle, the brother of his predecessor, arrested for allegedly making harassing phone calls to the sheriff’s office. The charges were later dropped and Tuggle sued Hill in his official and unofficial capacities for wrongful arrest. He won a judgment against the sheriff in federal court. Hill was ordered to pay Tuggle $475,000 in 2008.

Tuggle still hasn’t received his money.

His attorney, Bill Atkins, told commissioners this week that his client and Hill have reached a negotiated settlement which would require the county pay Tuggle about $313,000. He strongly urged they approve that settlement because he said there will be no further negotiations.

“The number is the number and it’s not going to change,” Atkins said. “The consequence of turning down that number is very simple. You will be litigating on two fronts. You will be litigating with Victor Hill in a mandamus action. You will be paying his attorney fees for the privilege because you’re required to by statute. And you’ll be litigating with us in federal court.”

He later said, “By the time we are through, you will pay far in excess of the amount we have agreed to settle this case for.”

Commissioners did not publicly comment on the settlement. Atkins waited to see what they’d do after an executive session later on, but the commission took no action when they returned to open session.

In other public comments at the commission meeting:

• Dr. Henry Anderson chided the commission over a proposed budget cut to the police department. The police budget will be cut by $338,403 if the proposed fiscal year 2014 budget is approved. Anderson cited news articles from before Chairman Jeff Turner took office in January, where he pledged to increase funding for the department.

He also cited articles where Magistrate Court Chief Judge Daphne Walker said a high number of residents in the county are renters.

“If you as a commission fail ... to put the police budget as it was or increasing it, then I feel in my opinion that you uphold the interests, standards and values of these renters that tear down this county and put a strain on our resources with their criminally-minded criminal element and thuggish, negative behavior more than you support citizens who are homeowners that are law-abiding,” Anderson said.

• Linda Walker said it appeared a 2008 county ordinance regarding the cutting down of trees is being violated on property across Walt Stephens Road from where she lives. Walker said the county has not hired an arborist to enforce the ordinance, despite the ordinance requiring the hiring of one.

Walker also said the ordinance allows only pine, yellow poplar and sweet gum trees to be harvested, but she said the land is being “clear-cutted” so hardwood trees, including hickories and oaks, are also being cut down. She said her property has been “severely devalued” because of the tree removals.

She blamed officials in the county’s Community Development Department.

“Your employees in your Community Development Department seem unaware and uncaring that this ordinance even exists when they issued a tree harvesting permit,” Walker said. “As a consequence, not one provision of this ordinance is being enforced.”

Comments

MD 1 year, 6 months ago

Victor Hill has caused this county nothing but trouble. The stupid voters keep electing him.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 6 months ago

.....It is often said that Clayton County is the laughing stock of the State of Georgia; This shameful fact don't seem to be bothersome to the voters, because they always come back for an encore performance at the polls.

......Clayton County is living proof that a dysfunction cannot exist without ignorance, and stupid people.

BRAGGING RIGHTS !!!!

...Although; Clayton County might not have the best elected officials in The State of Georgia, we continue to remain the happiness county in the State & The Dumbness County in State !!!

...Be Happy, and continue to be More Dumber !!!!

......There are two entirely separate Democrat Parties in Clayton County; This Party is probably the Party of Lopsided Nonsense & Stupidity :

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OscarKnight 1 year, 6 months ago

...Did I hear an encore ?

...Since The Atlanta Housing projects has been torn down, our crime rates has soared through the roof tops. The worse crimes committed by these new residents, has been done at the voting polls.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 6 months ago

...MD; "Trouble" ?

....Victor Hill is more Trouble than he is worth.......And I'm being kind when I say this about him.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 6 months ago

......The escapades' of Victor Hill continues to have a haunting effect on our county. I call this "The Bad Luck Curse of Walkin Small"

.....Our chances to disenfranchise the stupidity in this county is slim to none..What's more Sad; We are also out numbered.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 6 months ago

....The TV Show, "Saturday Night Live" once had a comedy skit called "The Thing That Wouldn't Leave". This skit was about a friend or a relative that arrived to your home, and lived off your food, watch TV all day & night, slept on the couch, made nothing but mess of your home, brought nothing but chaos into your home, and refuse to leave.

.....Does this sound familiar to anyone ?

http://www.news-daily.com/users/photos/2012/dec/10/59873/

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OscarKnight 1 year, 6 months ago

...Welcome Back Victor, and Thanks for The Laughs.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 6 months ago

....If Victor Hill was abusing his authority as The Sheriff, at time of this incident, that resulted in this Lawsuit, then why wasn't charges brought up against Victor Hill ?

...If The BOC agrees to pay, then, shouldn't a Lawsuit & Charges be brought forth against Victor Hill ?

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OscarKnight 1 year, 6 months ago

....Another question, that the tax payers of this county should be asking ourselves :

...Why do we pay taxes :

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OscarKnight 1 year, 6 months ago

...The Sheriff's Department might be looking at another Lawsuit, from a Citizen of this county, for Deputies using excessive force and undue harassment for a minor traffic infraction. Victor might ought to put his attorney on retainer.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 6 months ago

........Our Residents has seen this kind of abusive behavior before, from Victor Hill.

....Victor Hill has this silly notion that the Sheriff's Department is a Military Force.

...Riddle me with this : Has Victor Hill ever completed one day of Military Service ?

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OscarKnight 1 year, 6 months ago

....Victor Hill and Our Constitutional Rights :

http://meetingthesinlaws.com/2008/10/this-county-aint-big-enough-for-the-both-of-us

......Many Voters in this county would rather surrender their Constitutional Rights to this outsider, but I earned my Rights a long time ago.....Long before Hill knew what the Clayton County was.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 6 months ago

...Nothing would please me more, than to see Victor Hill found guilty on all felony counts that he is facing. The Icing on that cake, would 70 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

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