Clayton Sheriff Hill’s POST certification on probation due to shooting


A state regulatory agency that certifies the training of Georgia law enforcement officers has stripped Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill’s certification for two years because of his accidental shooting of a female friend in 2015.

The decision by the Georgia Peace Officers Standard and Training Council comes seven months after Hill pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless conduct in the shooting of Gwenevere McCord at a Gwinnett County model home where she worked as a real estate agent. Hill used the state’s First Offender Act to avoid a criminal record.

McCord was shot as Hill reportedly showed her “police tactics.” McCord had numerous surgeries and other procedures. She lost a kidney, spleen and part of her large intestine as a result of the shooting, her father said. McCord, her family, and Hill maintain that the shooting was an accident.

The ruling, which occurred during POST’s quarterly meeting March 8, was made based on Hill’s criminal arrest in connection with the shooting, POST spokesman Ryan Powell said Monday. The agency’s action does not change Hill’s duties as sheriff, Powell said.

“He’ll still be able to continue as sheriff and carry a gun,” he said. Hill’s arrest powers remain as well.

Efforts to reach Hill by phone and email were unsuccessful. His attorney Mike Puglise also could not be reached on Monday.

Hill has 30 days to appeal the decision, said Powell. If he doesn’t, the certification probation “will be the final sanction.”

If Hill appeals, a hearing would be conducted to determine if the two-year probation is appropriate, Powell said.

POST is responsible for licensing Georgia’s law enforcement officers. The council consists of sheriffs, police chiefs, mayors, and members of city councils from around the state.

Its decision means that Hill can’t have any other infractions, such as being arrested again or have any disciplinary action imposed against him during the next two years, Powell said.

While under probation, Hill will be required to take courses on firearms training and ethics. Hill has been a certified officer since 1992.

Powell said he was “not sure of the last time we’ve placed a sheriff’s certification on probation but we’ve revoked a few.”

Terry Norris, who serves as an advisor to POST, said the group “treated Sheriff Hill like they would any other officer with a similar type incident.” Norris is executive director of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association.

The shooting wasn’t the first brush with the law for the sheriff.

In July 2013, a Clayton jury acquitted Hill on two dozen racketeering charges stemming from his first term in office, 2004-2008. Prosecutors charged Hill with stealing from taxpayers by using his county issued credit card, county cars and the county gas pump to take a series of personal trips in 2008 to the Georgia mountains and the South Carolina coast.

The county’s top government official said he knew POST would take some kind of action.

“I respect the POST council’s decision if they deemed it necessary to suspend his certification,”said Clayton Commission Chairman Jeff Turner, a former police chief of Clayton.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Atlanta mayoral candidates feel the heat at Spelman debate
Atlanta mayoral candidates feel the heat at Spelman debate

The AJC’s Stephen Deere keeps you updated on the latest in the Atlanta mayoral race and everything else going on at City Hall. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:  Atlanta mayoral candidates battle for city's progressive vote  Atlanta mayoral runoff candidates seek support of former opponents  Bottoms...
Getting ready for metro Atlanta’s next transportation revolution
Getting ready for metro Atlanta’s next transportation revolution

An electric driverless shuttle produced by EasyMile drives, as part of an experiment, in Paris on Friday. The fully electric autonomous vehicle is made by French company EasyMile, one of multiple French driverless car projects. AP/Christophe Ena Please seal this column in an envelope and give it a place on a back shelf for the next 20...
Cops: DUI crash leaves motorcyclist in hospital with life-threatening injuries
Cops: DUI crash leaves motorcyclist in hospital with life-threatening injuries

An alleged drunken driver is in the Cobb County jail after police say he hit a motorcyclist outside an apartment complex. Clarence Blackshear, 47, of Marietta, is accused of hitting Jacob Schirm, 20, of Alpharetta, outside the Silver Creek Apartments on Roswell Road about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Marietta police Officer Jared Rakestraw said.  Blackshear...
Former Atlanta fire chief claims discrimination in civil rights suit
Former Atlanta fire chief claims discrimination in civil rights suit

A federal judge on Friday had questions about why Mayor Kasim Reed dismissed Atlanta’s fire chief in 2015, asking attorneys representing the city if the decision was based primarily on the contents of the chief’s controversial book or his insubordination. Fire chief Kelvin Cochran was terminated after he wrote and distributed a book that...
Recount shows Michael Julian Bond might retain Atlanta Council seat
Recount shows Michael Julian Bond might retain Atlanta Council seat

Michael Julian Bond will apparently retain his at-large council seat, but just barely, according to the unofficial results of a Fulton County vote recount on Friday. For the past couple of weeks, the outcome of the race wasn’t clear. First, there was supposed to be a recount, then a runoff, then a recount again. Earlier this week, election officials...
More Stories