Clayton Sheriff May Be Punished

1:05 PM, Feb 3, 2005   |    comments
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Clayton County’s controversial new sheriff returns to court Thursday to find out if he’ll be disciplined for firing 27 high-ranking deputies on his first day on the job. The hearing comes just a day after U.S. District Judge Charles A. Moye Jr. issued a temporary restraining order against Sheriff Victor Hill, forbidding him from promoting, demoting or retaliating against any of his employees for the time being. On Thursday, Superior Court Judge Ben Milller is expected to decide whether Sheriff Hill violated the first restraining order that Judge Milller issued against him. The order called for Sheriff Hill to reinstate the very deputies he sacked – an act that the sheriff still stands by. “We're ready to move forward past the court [and] make it the best sheriff's office it's ever been, and 32 days into the job we're doing that,” Hill said Wednesday. An attorney for the once-fired employees insists Sheriff Hill should be punished for his incendiary actions, and, possibly, placed in his own jail. “He should be sanctioned, he should be fined, if he was a private citizen, he should be jailed,” said attorney Harlan Miller. Hill did reinstate the deputies, but left them guarding inmates at the Clayton jail without their badges or guns. Judge Moye, likewise, did not restore the deputies to their former rank or duties on Wednesday. Hill contends he might have handled the firings a little differently. Perhaps, by issuing a press release to deny rumors of snipers having been perched along the rooftop of the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office when the fired deputies were escorted out of the building on January 3.

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