Victor Hill, who was elected as the first black sheriff in Clayton County in the south Atlanta metro area in 2004, first worked in law enforcement at age 18. His resume includes serving as a driver for Eldrin Bell, the former Clayton Commission Chairman (And Bell is also former Atlanta police chief).
Photo: Kent D. Johnson
Photo: Kent D. Johnson

Lawsuit: Clayton Sheriff Victor Hill was ‘racist, sexist and ageist’

A former Clayton County deputy is suing Sheriff Victor Hill for sex, race, color and age discrimination, saying he had her train her own replacement.

It all caused Lynda M. Cook to lose “pay, seniority, benefits and prestige,” said the lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday. Cooks said she also is suing the county for its continuation of Hill’s discriminatory practice.

Cook, who was hired 1997, contends that she was one of 19 deputies terminated even though her classification of Deputy III — a higher level of seniority — was not supposed to be under review by Hill’s reduction in force plan in 2013.

She contends the review team made its selection on which deputies should be terminated based on age, race, color or sex. Cook, a 40-year-old Caucasian, was replaced by a younger, African-American male who she trained, the lawsuit said.

The plan resulted in her being involuntarily transferred to the Clayton County Police Department. She contends that the county police department put her in a position at a lower pay grade and stripped away her earned seniority and refused to restore it even when the county civil service board ruled in her favor.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in May that Cook could pursue her lawsuit.

The county police department’s refusal to restore her seniority is a “continuation of the racist, sexist and ageist practices, customs, policies and behavior” of Hill’s office, the lawsuit said.

Attempts to reach Hill for comment were unsuccessful.

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