Victor Hill can return to his dream job

Victor Hill

Age: 48

Hometown: Charleston, S.C.

Residence: Clayton

Education: Attended Trident Technical College; studied criminal justice

Family: Single

Political Party: Democrat

Political experience: Elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2002; elected Clayton County Sheriff in 2004; lost re-election bid to Kem Kimbrough in 2008; beat Kimbrough in the 2012 Democratic primary; won election to Clayton sheriff over a write-in candidate in the 2012 general election.

Not long after becoming Clayton County’s first black sheriff in early 2005, Victor Hill faced a battery of TV cameras and said he has achieved his dream: “This is the only job that I’ve ever wanted, ever since the first grade,” Hill said. “This is my calling.”

Victor Hill’s career as a lawman has shown that he does things his way.

The diminutive Hill, who adored Batman as a kid, became a cop in Charleston, S.C. shortly after high school but was fired from a South Carolina sheriff’s department for undetermined reasons a few years later.

Moving to the Atlanta area, the former lawman could only find a job as mall cop before being hired as a patrolman in Clayton County in 1992.

The gung-ho Hill threw himself into the job and became a detective within two years and later a hostage negotiator. But, again, he began to have run-ins with higher ups.

In 2002, Hill won a seat as a state representative and feuded with the chief when he asked to get a leave of absence to fulfill his parliamentary duties. The chief relented but a similar kerfuffle occurred when he ran for the sheriff’s in 2004.

After winning election in a sweep of African American candidates defeating longtime white incumbents, Hill quit his police job in dramatic fashion: He drove his county car to the department, tossed his equipment into the trunk, dropped a resignation letter in the front seat, parked the car in the chief’s parking space and left.

As sheriff, one of his first acts in office was to fire numerous deputies seen as political enemies while rooftop snipers looked on. He later lost a lawsuit over the firings, lost his bid for re-election, filed for bankruptcy and was ready to seemingly fade into obscurity.

But Hill, while being investigated by county officials and then later indicted on corruption charges, defeated the man who beat him – Kem Kimbrough – and returned to office this year. Voters liked his strut, his vow to fight thugs and help them retake their neighborhoods.

Hill was able to maintain his job as sheriff while under indictment and has forged a coalition of support by attending community meetings, churches and showing up on crime scenes while still keeping a low media profile.

On Thursday, Hill stalked the fourth floor hallway of the Clayton County courthouse awaiting the verdict, looking dapper in a well-fitting suit with a violet silk tie and matching pocket hankerchief. He patted supporters on the back and gave constant thumbs up.

After a jury acquitted him of corruption charges, Hill’s attorneys met the press. However, this time, the sheriff – who can again carry a gun – was not there.

“He’s the sheriff,” his attorney Drew Findling told reporters. “He’s off to do his business.”