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18 September 2012

Jill Chambers May Help Victor Hill Get Off

Pardon the imagery folks, but this is interesting.

Former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill, as you might have heard, was indicted on 37 felony counts, including illegal use of campaign contributions. Hill, despite facing criminal prosecution, sought and won the Democrat Party's nomination for Sheriff of Clayton County this summer.

Now, as Victor Hill's legal team prepares a defense to keep him out of jail, 2011 opinion from a federal judge may end up saving Hill's hide.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge C. Ray Mullins ruled that the campaign funds of former state Representative Jill Chambers were her personal assets and could be seized by creditors to satisfy debts owed by Chambers to them.

You can read a copy of Judge Mullins' opinion below.

Mullins Order on Campaign Funds 5-26-2011 (1)

Victor Hill's attorneys, according to Insider Advantage Georgia, are aware of Judge Mullins' ruling and "may well bring it into play." Here's the reason why:

Judge Mullins, in his opinion, trumped state law [O.C.G.A § 21-5-33(c)] when he ruled that campaign funds were the personal assets of the candidate and could be seized by creditors to satisfy debts in bankruptcy proceedings.

If campaign funds are the personal assets of the candidate, then Victor Hill cannot possibly be guilty of illegal use of campaign contributions, because he was spending his own money.

That is, by the way, what Victor Hill's attorneys argued in Clayton County Superior Court, when they presented their Motion to Dismiss.

"He is essentially taking from himself and therefore cannot be guilty of a crime," Hill attorney Steven Frey argued. "The campaign belonged to Victor Keith Hill. He can’t steal from himself."

So a federal ruling involving former state Representative Jill Chambers might actually help another former state Representative, Victor Hill, get off.

In the words of legendary MLB sportscaster Mel Allen, "How bout that."