CLAYTON SHERIFF FIRES 14
New leader points to their files; also brings back some fired by Hill.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution
By Megan Matteucci
Saturday, January 03, 2009
[Excerpts] New Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough fired 14 deputies on his first day in office —- a move similar to the one that cost the former sheriff $7 million in lawsuits. The difference: All of the deputies Kimbrough fired were on probation, and many had criminal records. “These 14 were people with the most egregious things in their files —- criminal records, failure to pass training or they were fired before and rehired with no resolution to the issues they were fired for,” he said Friday. Kimbrough, who defeated Sheriff Victor Hill in August, promised voters he would restore integrity in the department and rid it of corruption. “These people don’t deserve to have thugs and criminals carrying badges and guns,” said Kimbrough, an attorney and former deputy. “Everything we did on Day One was prudent, supported, legal and in the best intentions of Clayton County.” Kimbrough said he also is changing locks in the sheriff’s office and the jail and is scrutinizing inventory after finding missing keys, weapons and other equipment. Kimbrough said he got approval from the county’s personnel director before taking action. Some vacancies have been filled with deputies Hill fired —- veteran officers who’d been working at the police department... Court records show [Deputy Edward] Hobbs was convicted of simple battery in Fulton County in 2005 and placed on probation. He had an outstanding warrant for violating his probation when he showed up for his first day at the Sheriff’s Department in May 2008. His co-workers arrested him, and he was sent to jail. However, after Hobbs posted bail, he was allowed by Hill to return to work... Hobbs, a former Fulton County sheriff’s deputy, said he got into a fight with his ex-wife and was ordered to complete counseling. Hobbs said he completed his sentence and the case was closed. “I caught a rapist in Morrow and three robbers in Riverdale. I did nothing but my job,” Hobbs said. “He said I was a thug and a reject. That’s defamation of character.” [Deputy Miriam] Taylor, of Atlanta, said she worked as a Clayton corrections officer for about a month —- not long enough to “get in trouble,” she said. Taylor was fired because she never had a background check and failed the mandated Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training test, Kimbrough said... [Read full article here]
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