Where is Clayton Co. Sheriff-elect Victor Hill? - FOX 35 News Orlando

Where is Clayton Co. Sheriff-elect Victor Hill?

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Clayton County Sheriff- Elect Victor Hill has been hard to find lately. The 47-year-old won a second election on Tuesday against write-in candidate Garland Watkins, but faces an uncertain future after a grand jury indicted Hill on 32 counts of alleged criminal wrongdoing while in office.

Watkins, a longtime sheriff's deputy, launched a write-in campaign. While it appears Hill got the majority of votes, election officials say they will have to count every vote by hand and check each write-in ballot,
 
Hill could be suspended or removed from office if a jury convicts him of the criminal charges.

Hill's legal team says the case amounts to dirty politics. They have blasted prosecutors for appealing the five counts that were recently thrown out as nothing more than a delay tactic. It pushed the trial back for at least a year.  Now, the lawyers have asked the court of appeals to take the case.  

"I've never seen a case where there has been acknowledged bias by a lead investigator that investigates a case after he's been fired by the person he's investigating. I've never seen a case where it's eventually prosecuted by somebody that steps out of the case, and the investigation is ultimately or initiated by someone that's going to be your competition for an elected office," Hill's attorney Drew Findling.

The Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council suspended Hill's certification back in January, but he's won two elections since then. First, the Democratic primary against Kem Kimbrough this past summer and then he trounced write in candidate Watkins Tuesday Night.

Voters are clearly split on Hill's future.   

"I think that Victor Hill needs to take Clayton County back because we have a lot of gangs out here, a lot of things going on that when Victor Hill was in officer were not going on," said LaShaundra Reid.
    
"The man been under so many indictments and done so many things wrong, I don't know why the people elected him, voted for him," said Richard Duren.

Hill's attorneys say they want to take this case to a jury now and say they have their theories about why prosecutors want a delay.

"Regarding the governor's investigation, POST investigation and the Georgia Sheriff's Association's involvement in the matter --  it gets back to the same thing I said earlier: they're returning away from prosecuting the case because they got somebody else to do their bidding for them," said Steven Frey, another attorney for Hill.

Defense attorneys want this case expedited as soon as possible with the court of appeals but it doesn't seem like that could possibly happen before Hill is scheduled to be sworn in on January 1.

FOX 5 tried to reach the outside prosecutor in this case, but was told that she is on a court-approved leave of absence out of the country.

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