Probate Judge Pamela Ferguson has sworn in Chief Deputy Levon Allen as Sheriff of Clayton County.

A special election is tentatively set for March 21.

Former Sheriff Victor Hill, who awaits sentencing on federal charges of depriving pretrial inmates of their civil rights, posted a photo of the swearing-in to Facebook.

Interim Sheriff Roland Boehrer was scheduled to retire on December 31.

We’ve asked Ferguson what time the ceremony took place, who was present, and whether any news media were there to cover it. The Clayton Crescent was not notified of Allen’s swearing-in. The paperwork is timestamped 2:40 p.m., December 22, 2022:

Allen was involved in strapping landscaper Glenn Howell into a restraint chair at Hill’s order. Allen also was the deputy who texted Hill about a 17-year-old who had trashed his mother’s house during a mental health crisis, to which Hill responded with one word: “Chair.” Hill was found guilty in those incidents, as well as four others. He faces sentencing on February 12.

Allen is one of three CCSO command staff assigned to provide security to Commissioners Alieka Anderson, Felicia Franklin, and Gail Hambrick, who vote as a bloc in favor of Hill’s political allies.

The security detail started after confirmed threats to BOC Chairman Jeff Turner, which the Georgia Bureau of Investigation told The Clayton Crescent it was investigating.

Since then, Franklin and Anderson have circulated a series of politically motivated anonymous e-mails, some of which falsely stated that Turner’s son, Brandon, was a convicted felon. Brandon Turner is suing Anderson and Franklin for slander.

Two other county employees who were named in a list of people Hill allegedly had targeted for removal have been fired. Former Chief Financial Officer Ramona Bivins, who was first on the chopping block, is suing Anderson, Franklin, and Hambrick, along with the county, in federal court. Franklin called for audits of the county’s tuition payments on Bivins’ behalf, suggested a criminal referral could be filed, and led the vote to strip Turner of his ability to sign off on some payments without a vote of the full commission. Bivins alleges that Anderson told Chief Operating Officer Detrick Stanford not to worry about paying back graduate school tuition because “we are only going after Ramona.”

Franklin is repaying the county for travel allowance advances after Bivins told her to stop using personal credit cards to book county travel.

Hill’s and Franklin’s campaign filings show both are linked to Pirouette Companies, through which Hill’s former chief of staff, Mitzi Bickers, moved money related to the Atlanta City Hall bribery scandal, and a fake address in Atlanta. Bickers is now serving a 14-year sentence in federal prison.

A CCSO memo dated October 26 named Boehrer as interim sheriff and Allen as chief deputy. Allen wrote the date October 31, 2022 on his Declaration of Intent to run for sheriff, the same date that Hill wrote on two campaign finance filings. One of those included the fake address. The other listed two $1,000 campaign contributions to Anderson and $500 to Janice Scott’s failed District 4 BOC campaign. Anderson, Hill, and Franklin had campaigned for Scott against Commissioner DeMont Davis, who also was falsely accused in anonymous robocalls, of being a convicted felon.

On Tuesday, the BOC removed a proposed ordinance from the consent agenda after The Clayton Crescent reported it appeared to open the door to appointing Allen or other CCSO deputies to a commissioner’s seat, should any commissioner vacate the seat.

A Capitol counsel issued an opinion the next day that the proposed ordinance was likely unconstitutional and that it would violate several state laws.

Georgia’s next special election is tentatively scheduled for March 31. The Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration will set the official date when it meets in January.

Allen filed a declaration of intent to run for Sheriff dated October 31. The form appeared on the county’s online Easy File in December.

A check of shows Allen came to work for CCSO on January 9, 2013.

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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