Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill has filed a brief with the Georgia Court of Appeals in his case against Gov. Brian Kemp.
According to the court’s online docket, a request to argue the case was granted on April 28. Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr had filed a brief on March 29 on behalf of the governor.
The appeal is listed as being on the June 2022 calendar.
The case had gone before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Belinda Edwards. According to Hill’s attorney/spokesman Alan Parker, Edwards had “stated on record that she did not think she had the authority to make the decision to reinstate Sheriff Hill.”
Acting on the advice of a two-sheriff committee, as provided for by Georgia law, Kemp suspended Hill on June 2, 2021 pending the outcome of a federal case.
In that case, United States of America v. Victor Hill, Hill is accused of violating the civil and Constitutional rights under color of law of four pretrial detainees at the Clayton County Jail. The government alleges Hill used jailhouse restraint chairs to punish the detainees, which is illegal.
Under state law, the governor can suspend a sheriff facing felony charges. Based on the recommendation of the two-sheriff committee, the governor can:
- suspend a sheriff for up to 60 days
- extend the suspension another 30 days
- request the district attorney in the sheriff’s county to “bring a removal petition against the sheriff…based upon the evidence reported by the committee”
- “In the event that the Governor determines that further investigation should be made, he may then order additional investigation by the committee, by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, by other law enforcement agencies of this state, or by any special committee appointed by the Governor for such purpose.”
If the sheriff is convicted of a felony, they are immediately removed from office.
Hill had appealed the decision based on another section of the state law, which says, “If a public official who is suspended from office under the provisions of this Code section is not first tried at the next regular or special term following the indictment, the suspension shall be terminated and the public official shall be reinstated to office. The public official shall not be reinstated under this subsection if he is not so tried based on a continuance granted upon a motion made only by the defendant.”
Court records show Hill is being represented by attorney Matt Tucker.
The case number is A22A1113.