Deal will not appoint panel to consider sheriff's suspension - CBS46 News

Gov. Deal will not appoint panel to consider Victor Hill's suspension

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Victor Hill Victor Hill
CLAYTON COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Gov. Nathan Deal announced Thursday he will not appoint a panel to consider the suspension of Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill.

Attorney Page Pate says his client, a Clayton County community activist, has one goal.  

"We want to force the governor to do what we believe the law requires," said Pate. 

Pate has filed a lawsuit that his client hopes will eventually lead to the removal of Hill.

Hill has been indicted on 32 counts of felony racketeering and theft.

Many people expected Deal to appoint a special committee to look at suspending Hill because it appears Hill is breaking the law by holding public office while under indictment.

But yesterday Deal announced he doesn't have the authority to make a move. 

"The governor is saying Hill was indicted while he was a private citizen so this statute doesn't apply to him. I don't read it that way at all," said Pate. 

The Georgia Sheriff's Association also disagrees with Deal's interpretation of the law and supports the lawsuit. 

"My client is simply hoping to convince a judge that Gov. Deal is wrong in his interpretation of this statue. If he is right and he can convince the judge of this, then a judge can force Gov. Deal to appoint the panel to consider suspending Sheriff Hill and that is what he wants," said Pate.

Musa Ghanayem, Hill's attorney, says Deal made the right decision and his client finds the lawsuit insulting. Deal forwarded questions about the lawsuit to the attorney general's office.

A spokesperson for Sam Olens said the attorney general had not seen the lawsuit and had no comment. Pate says a hearing will be scheduled within 30 days.

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