The state attorney general's office will now investigate the legal ramifications of the outcome of the Clayton County sheriff's race. Former Clayton County sheriff Victor Hill, who is under indictment on felony charges, regained his seat in Tuesday's runoff election.
In 2008 Hill, who was Clayton County sheriff, lost his seat to current Sheriff Kem Kimbrough. Four years later in 2012, Hill ran again. He forced a runoff when he finished a close second behind Kimbrough in July's Democratic primary, and clinched the win Tuesday night.
Hill is accused of wrongdoing during his time in office. He faces a host of felony charges including racketeering and theft by taking. Hill has denied all charges.
Hill released a victory statement Tuesday night. "Tonight, I am humbled by God and the support of the Clayton County voters and accept their will to serve once again, as Sheriff of Clayton County. I want to thank the many volunteers, advisors and friends that worked tirelessly over the last few months to make tonight's victory a reality. As promised, I want to advise those who prey on others by breaking into homes, robbing businesses and drug trafficking to stop or leave Clayton while you still can. Your presence is not wanted and your lawlessness will not be tolerated. I want to thank everyone once again. May God bless you all and may God bless Clayton County."
A spokesman with the state attorney general's office confirms it is now weighing the legal ramifications of sheriff-elect Hill's win.
The Governor's Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, Brian Robinson, says that if a county official is under indictment in Georgia, the governor must form a panel to investigate and issue a recommendation about whether the official should be suspended from office.
Robinson says if the panel recommends against suspension, the governor cannot do anything. If the panel recommends suspension, the governor has the option of issuing that penalty or not.
In the case of a sheriff, the panel would be the state attorney general and two sitting sheriffs from other counties, selected by the governor. If the charges were dropped or the case was settled without a conviction before he is sworn in, there wouldn't be a problem.
A motions hearing for Hill's case is scheduled for September 10.
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