Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill beat all 27 charges against him, including accusations of racketeering, theft by taking, making a false statement, influencing a witness and violating his oath as a public officer. During the nine-day trial, the prosecution called 15 witnesses to the stand and the defense called two. Hill did not testify.
Among the key factors of the trial:
What the prosecution tried to prove: Hill was a corrupt lawman who used his office to court women, travel and gamble on the taxpayers’ dime.
What the defense argued: Hill was prosecuted for political retribution — because he announced to run for the seat he lost in 2008 to Kem Kimbrough. Hill’s lawyers also said a sheriff is entitled to take a car out of town because he’s subject to be called to duty at any time.
Why the prosecution may have lost the case: It failed to make a strong enough argument that Hill used his office to enrich himself. Prosecutors indicted Hill on a series of theft charges based on allegations he used county vehicles and county gas to go on vacation. Public corruption cases, which are typically tough to prove, are most successful when prosecutors can show a sustained pattern of clear theft and larger dollar amounts than the estimated $1,000 in gas and other county benefits Hill is accused of taking.