Kemp in May appointed the panel — made up of two Georgia sheriffs and state Attorney General Chris Carr — to determine if the federal indictment against Hill would impact the sheriff’s ability to do his job.
Hill has denied the charges.
“The commission did not call any witnesses and only took into consideration what the federal indictment stated, which was grossly inaccurate,” Parker said in the post.
He also said a leak of some of the investigation’s findings was illegal and could taint a potential jury pool. Hill’s personal attorney, Drew Findling, asserted similar concerns earlier in the month and called on the governor to investigate.
“As a result, the information that they released illegally took information from the indictment and provided a report to you that was riddled with inaccuracies,” Parker said in his letter to Kemp. “In failing to conduct a complete and thorough investigation, they did a disservice not only to you, but also to the citizens of Clayton County.”
At issue in the federal indictment is whether Hill used restraining chairs to punish the detainees. Federal law allows the use of a restraint chair — which includes a shoulder, lap, ankle and wrist straps — to keep inmates from harming themselves or someone else. It is illegal to use them as a form of punishment.
U.S. Attorneys, in a 12-page, four-count indictment filed in April, accused Hill of depriving detainees of their liberty in incidents that occurred over several months in 2020. The men, which included a juvenile who had just turned 17 at the time of his jailing, were identified by only by their initials.
Parker identified the men as Glen Howell, Chrishon Hollins, Joseph Harper and Joseph Arnold in the Nixle post. He argued that in three of the cases, the use of the chair was appropriate given the men’s actions prior to being brought to the jail. Harper was put in the restraining chair by jail staff and not Sheriff Hill, Parker said in the post.
In three of the cases, the letter says Hill had prior knowledge of the men’s prior behavior “that the three-panel commission acknowledged legally ‘can be a factor in determining if an inmate is placed in a restraint chair as a preventative measure.’
“These facts severely question the legitimacy of the review commission’s findings and draw serious doubt as to whether the review commission conducted an impartial investigation or simply adopted the findings of the Federal Investigation.”
Lee Sexton, an attorney for Howell, could not be immediately reached for comment.