Sheriff-elect Victor Hill files appeal to speed up trial date

Attorneys for Clayton County Sheriff-elect Victor Hill said Wednesday they have filed an appeal in hopes of bringing his racketeering and theft case to trial faster.

Hill’s trial was to have begun Nov. 26 but it was delayed when prosecutors appealed a judge’s dismissal of five of the original 37 charges against him. Now his lawyers are challenging the prosecution’s appeal in hopes of getting a decision soon after Hill takes office on Jan. 1 and a trial can be held.

Though he will have the title of sheriff, Hill’s state certification as a law enforcement officer is suspended because of the felony charges so he will be unable to make arrests or serve warrants. Also, as soon as he takes office, the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association plans to push to have him removed from office while the criminal charges are pending.

“The delay is not on us. We’re ready to go to trial,” Drew Findling, one of Hill’s lawyers, said, accusing prosecutors of deliberately delaying a trial.

District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said the special prosecutor handing the case was not trying to delay. “The state looks forward to a trial before the citizens of Clayton County,” Lawson said.