Mitzi Bickers promoted to chief chaplain in Clayton Sheriff’s Office

Controversial Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill last week promoted Mitzi Bickers, right, to chief chaplain for the Sheriff’s Office. Bickers has been under indictment in connection with the Atlanta City Hall corruption probe. FILE PHOTO.

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Controversial Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill last week promoted Mitzi Bickers, right, to chief chaplain for the Sheriff’s Office. Bickers has been under indictment in connection with the Atlanta City Hall corruption probe. FILE PHOTO.

Mitzi Bickers, who has been indicted in connection with a federal bribery probe at Atlanta City Hall, has been promoted in her job at the Clayton County Sheriff's Office.

Bickers posted on her Facebook page that she was named chief chaplain for the south metro Atlanta law enforcement agency run by controversial Sheriff Victor Hill, for whom Bickers has conducted past campaign work. Bickers, who has worked for the department since 2016, was one of several people who received promotions last Friday.

“Friends and family came out to the Sheriff’s Office to watch newly promoted employees get honored for their advancement today,” Bickers posted. “A wonderful ceremony that was serenaded by Deputy Johnson was a great day to move the Sheriff’s Office in a new direction!”

WSB TV's Tom Jones reported Wednesday, however, that some former employees of the sheriff's office questioned how someone under indictment could be promoted. They accused Hill, with whom they have battled publicly, of using taxpayer dollars to help political buddies.

“She has no right to be called a chief nothing,” said former Clayton Sheriff’s Office chaplain Rodney Williams, who is in a battle with Hill to get his job back. Williams was fired in 2018 because he watched the Atlanta Falcons on his work computer and because he refused to comply with Hill’s decision in 2017 that chaplains would become deputies.

The Clayton Civil Service Board has recommended that he be rehired, but Hill has fought the decision, Williams said.

“I believe his goal was to help her pay those legal fees that her GoFundMe account would not pay,” Williams told WSB.

Neither Bickers nor Hill could be reached for comment.

Bickers, who served as director of human services in the administration of former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed from 2010 to early 2013, was indicted on 12 counts in April 2018, including conspiracy to commit bribery, money laundering, wire fraud, tampering with a witness or informant and filing false tax returns. Bickers has pleaded not guilty.

Robert Hawes, who resigned from the department last year after there were questions about the whereabouts of a service weapon assigned to him, also accused Hill of misusing taxpayer money to back a political supporter.

“The citizens should be outraged,” said Hawes, who plans to challenge Hill in the 2020 sheriff’s race.