Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill
ATLANTA -- Gov. Nathan Deal will not appoint a panel to examine whether to remove Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill from office.
Hill took office New Year's Day. Clayton County voters elected Hill in spite of a felony indictment related to alleged corruption during his first term in office, which ended four years ago.
In a news release, Deal's office says the governor "has concluded that the law outlining the procedures for the suspension of public officials under indictment applies only to officials indicted while holding their elected office." Hill was indicted February 29, 2012. Hill was out of office at that time.
"I just don't understand," said Putnam County sheriff Howard Sills, president of the Georgia Sheriffs Association. The association had called for Deal to appoint the panel "to assure the integrity of the office of sheriff," Sills said.
The indictment "had to do with him being a public official. He's a public official now. And it's the same office," Sills told 11Alive News.
"The governor's attorney's interpretation of the statute is incorrect," Sills said. However, Sills said the Sheriff's Association will not challenge the Governor's decision.