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Victor Hill racketeering trial enters its second day

10:01 PM, Aug 9, 2013   |    comments
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  • Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill
  • Former sheriff clerk and former Victor Hill campaign manager Naomi Nash
  • Former Clayton County Chief Deputy John Gibson

JONESBORO, Ga. -- Prosecutors began their second day of evidence against Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill on Friday with a former chief deputy who testified he was fired for refusing to secretly tape record Hill's successor.

Hill faces 28 counts of racketeering and theft.

John Gibson was Hill's Chief Deputy from the summer of 2008 to December of that year, when he said Hill fired him.

Gibson said he was let go because he refused Hill's order to secretly tape record newly elected Sheriff Kem Kimbrough, who defeated Hill in the 2008 summer primary election.

Prosecutors also asked Gibson if he was aware of Hill's frequent out of town trips in a county vehicle after he lost the primary.

Gibson said he'd heard "rumors" about the trips, but was not aware of where Hill was.

Prosecutors have labeled Hill a "thief" for allegedly taking several out of town pleasure trips in sheriff vehicles and using a county credit card to pay for them.

Thursday afternoon former jailer Beatrice Powell testified she went with Hill on several of those trips, even though she did not tell that to an earlier grand jury investigation.

On Friday afternoon former sheriff department clerk Naomi Nash also confirmed that she took several out of town pleasure trips with Hill and, sometimes, with Beatrice Powell.

Nash said she managed Hill's unsuccessful 2008 re-election campaign and took the trips after he lost the summer primary to Kimbrough.

She said Hill gave her a $15,000 check for her campaign services, but then took back most of the money for himself.

"Five-thousand went to the cashier's check, the rest of it went to Victor Hill," Nash testified.

Hill's attorneys claim he's a victim of a political vendetta by Sheriff Kimbrough, who was trying to keep Hill from reclaiming the office, which he did in last fall's election.

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