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Audit possible on Sheriff Victor Hill spending | News

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Audit possible on Sheriff Victor Hill spending
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JONESBORO, GA -- The chairman of the Clayton County commission says taxpayer spending by Sheriff Victor Hill could "raise eyebrows" and may require an audit. The spending was first disclosed by the 11Alive Investigators following a six-month investigation into Hill's spending.

The investigation showed that Hill has spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on travel and trinkets. The travel includes three separate visits to a gulf coast casino, and $4787 worth of shiny, custom-made Victor Hill trinkets.

Records show that Sheriff Hill billed Clayton County taxpayers $1995 for 500 two-inch coins that show Hill's badge on one side, and his name and a Batman logo on the other.

"He has not graciously given me one yet," said Jeff Turner, chairman of the Clayton County Board of Commissioners, when shown the coin Thursday.

Turner says how an elected sheriff spends his budget is solely up to him – even if it includes $2832.50 worth of custom-made wallet clips, key fobs and lapel pins –plus those Batman coins.

"It would be reasonable to audit it if we felt like there was something not quite right with the spending," Turner said Thursday. He added he was not fully familiar with the disclosures in the 11Alive report.

The spending also includes tens of thousands of dollars in travel – including an entire weekend in Athens Alabama for a county-paid tai chi class – and three separate trips to gulf coast casinos.

Turner said a description of the spending "would raise eyebrows" in county offices. But Turner says it's ultimately up to voters to hold Hill accountable.

Voters like the owner of Miss Movale's eatery. Movale Hagler was among those who overwhelmingly re-elected the controversial Hill in 2012. She is also the owner of a county-funded, custom-made Victor Hill trinket. "I have one of these. I have mine with the keychain," she said. Hagler says Hill gave it to her after she served him breakfast once in her restaurant.

Hagler says Hill is a role model who has mentored her learning-disabled son. Hill's likeness is displayed on a wall of her restaurant, alongside President and Mrs. Obama.

"I've seen Clayton County get real bad with crime. And now I'm seeing it getting better," Hagler said. "I think (Hill) really deserves credit for it. I do."

Hill has not responded to requests for comment.


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