Clayton County

Clayton County sheriff’s attorney asks Kemp to investigate leaked report recommending his suspension

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Lawyers for suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill are blasting the release of a report recommending his suspension to Gov. Brian Kemp.

Hill, who has been sheriff of the county since 2012, was suspended by Kemp on Wednesday via executive order. Hill faces accusations of using restraint chairs against inmates and of other instances of excessive force. He’s facing federal felony charges of depriving inmates’ civil rights.

Per law, last month, Kemp ordered a three-person panel to investigate the allegations and advise him on whether or not to suspend Hill.

Earlier this week, the report, which did recommend Hill’s suspension, was released to the media.

On Sunday, Hill’s attorney, Drew Findling, said that the law states that the report should have been confidential and its release was a “clear violation of the law.”

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“It was a one-sided study without the sheriff or his defense council having his ability to participate in any way,” Findling said. “It poisons a potential jury pool.”

Findling has asked Kemp to investigate how the leak happened.

“Our concern about that is that this is yet another example of the unfair treatment of Sheriff Hill,” Findling said. “It is another example of him being singled out.”

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Findling said that the federal indictment involves zero physical injuries, “merely four incidents reference out of hundreds.”

Hill is also facing a civil lawsuit from a man who claims he was strapped into a chair for hours and then locked in a suicide watch cell for hours wearing nothing but a paper gown.

The plaintiff, Glenn Howell, had done some landscaping work for one of Hill’s lieutenants.

The incident is part of a series events Howell and his lawyer, Lee Sexton, say constituted revenge by Hill for insulting him after the sheriff got involved in a dispute about a debt Howell claimed the lieutenant owed him.

Hill’s suspension will last until the case is decided or the end of his term in 2024, whichever comes first.