UPDATE 11/1 8:26 a.m.: State law requires Hill to pay triple damages out of his retirement before receiving funds
Three sources have confirmed to The Clayton Crescent that Sheriff Victor Hill is putting in for retirement. His paperwork reportedly had not been finalized as of press time.
A federal jury convicted Hill October 26 on six of seven counts of violating pretrial detainees’ rights under color of law.
In a memo dated that same day, Chief Deputy and Interim Chief Roland Boehrer announced that he would serve as Interim Sheriff and naming Hill’s godson, Levon Allen, as chief deputy.
Hill’s base pay in 2021 was $155,829.58. While he was suspended by Gov. Brian Kemp pending the outcome of the trial, Hill continued to receive his paycheck. The governor’s office has not yet clarified what its next steps will be. The next special election date on the calendar is March 21, 2023, but a vote could come as soon as 60 days after Hill’s vacancy is official.
Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) is reviewing Hill’s law enforcement file and several civil suits against Hill are still pending. Several former CCSO deputies have alleged that Hill made notations in their POST files that hindered their ability to apply to other law enforcement agencies.
During Hill’s suspension, CCSO has refused to attend Civil Service hearings, saying that, because the department had no sheriff, it was unable to participate in decisions that would affect current or former employees with grievances.
Hill remains free as of press time. His attorney has said he will file with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Under O.C.G.A. 47-1-22, Hill would be required to pay triple damages, “upon final conviction,” before he could receive any retirement benefits: “If a public employee commits a public employment related crime in the capacity of a public employee and is convicted for the commission of such crime, upon final conviction such person’s benefits under a public retirement or pension system, including any survivor’s benefits if applicable, shall be reduced by an amount equal to three times the economic impact of the crime, as determined pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 47-1-25. Payment of such benefits shall cease until such amount has been forfeited, after which benefits shall be restored. If the person has not begun to receive a benefit, the deduction shall commence at the time such benefits would normally begin. For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘benefit’ shall not include a refund of employee contributions without interest.”