Enablers of the year:
“Guardian angels,” comprising several “high ranking” deputies and a lawyer or two, who have bailed Clayton County, Georgia sheriff Victor Hill out of trouble on multiple occasions. Since February, Hill has twice veered from his lane and struck other vehicles, once driving so erratically that a witness thought he was having a seizure. One of the side-swiped victims, who twice described him as so “wobbly” he might be “intoxicated,” was asked by a trooper, “Do you know who that is?” The woman had no idea but was told, “We got to keep this down. That is Victor Hill.” The troopers in both instances determined Hill was “not drunk.”
Most recently Hill was trying to teach his lady friend, real estate agent Gwenevere McCord, how to protect herself while holding open houses (when female real estate agents can be sitting ducks), at an impromptu session at an open house she was holding—where prospects could (and did) walk in. Instead, he shot her in the abdomen. According to Ray Saxon, director of basic training at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center, using a live round during a training is a “flagrant violation of common sense” and is not considered “accidental,” even if “unintentional.” Hill’s colleagues insisted that Hill is “extremely careful and methodical during training, removing the magazine from the gun and checking the chamber repeatedly before proceeding with exercises.” Then why was this time different? We might consider his recent two accidents as a clue, but also his demand for, according to “former” member of his “inner circle” Jonathan Newton, “cult-like loyalty. If you deviate from that, you will be dealt with, and not favorably.” Odds heavily favor addiction.
By the way you may remember the name Victor Hill. In 2004 he decided the time was right to run for Sheriff after only a two-year stint as a “popular” Georgia state legislator (most legislators agree it takes six to eight years to understand the nuances of the office); he won. He made national news on his first day as Sheriff, January 3, 2005, when he summoned 27 mostly white employees to the jail and took their guns and badges. Snipers “stood guard on the jail’s roof” as those fired were “were escorted out.” They quickly filed a lawsuit against the County claiming they were fired because of their race or because they supported Hill’s opponent in the 2004 sheriff’s race. Seven additional workers later joined in the lawsuit, claiming wrongful treatment by Sheriff Hill. Clayton County Superior Court Judge Stephen Boswell immediately ruled the employees “were fired without cause.” They returned to work about two weeks later and settled out of court in 2007 for $6.5 million in taxpayer funds.
Enablers of the decade:
U.K. Upper Tribunal Judge Jonathan Perkins, who allowed an immigrant criminal, convicted of more than 70 offences, to remain in the country because the criminal is an alcoholic. The Libyan man, 53, identified only by the initials “HU,” argued he would face physical punishment and imprisonment if he was extradited to Libya, where alcohol consumption is “illegal” although widespread. The Judge said HU has a “right to family life” in Britain and added he could not “take the high moral ground” and simply suggest that HU give up drinking. He explained HU has tried to deal with alcohol dependency for many years and has obviously been unable to: “The claimant’s history [of] addiction is such that he cannot abstain from consuming alcohol when alcohol is available.” Returning him to Libya would, Perkins ruled, “expose him to ill-treatment [and] interfere disproportionately with his private and family life.” What about the rights of others not to be victims of his crimes? What about the fact that HU’s alcoholism, because his love affair is with the bottle, prevents him from having any meaningful “family life?” At least the Home Office, the U.K. immigration authority, hasn’t given up. After this second attempt to deport him, they are appealing the decision, again. Who knows: with appropriate consequences, even in such an “impossible” case, HU might get sober.