After announcing his run against Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill, Robert Hawes has had nothing but trouble from the department where he was once a deputy.
The troubles started when Hawes, who has been in law enforcement for thirty years, posted online on Aug. 10 that he was seeking to have Hill's job.
After the Facebook post, Hill sent an email to Clayton Sheriff’s Office staffers accusing Hawes' sons of stealing their father’s service weapon in 2014 and then later selling it at a pawn shop.
Hawes states that the claim is untrue and his wife, Gerrian Hawes, replied to the email, “Where there is love, fear cannot exist.”
Hill and Gerrian Hawes continued to email each other back and forth until Hill threatened to have Hawes' wife arrested.
Hawes took to Faceook Live on Wednesday showing deputies arresting his wife after an arrest warrant was issued.
The video starts out after the officers have already entered in the house.
According to AJC:
> “This sounds like an effort to intimidate a potential political opponent, which is in my mind, not an appropriate use of law enforcement powers,” said Harvey Newman, professor emeritus at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. “We want people to feel able to speak truth to power. But this appears to be an effort to, if not silence that, to at least intimidate it.”
“This is what they do at the sheriff's office. This is why we need new leadership at the sheriff's office,” Hawes says as he is facing one of the deputies.
“The law is not our personal tool to use because you are pissed off and mad. Sheriff Victor Hill is using the law as a personal tool. Vote Robert Hawes 2020,”
Gerrian Hawes' bond was set at $1,500 when she appeared in Clayton Magistrate Court on Thursday.
Hill ran the department in 2005-2008 and won the election again in 2013 and 2016. Last election he won by receiving 63 percent of the vote.
Hill's history with the department is not one to be sought with.
According to AJC:
> “When he first took office in 2005, he immediately fired 27 employees, placing snipers on the sheriff’s department roof as they were escorted out. In 2012, he was accused of several counts of racketeering, theft by taking and making false statements, though he would later be acquitted of all charges. In 2015, he accidentally shot a female friend while demonstrating “police tactics” during a date. And last year, his law enforcement certification was put on probation for two years by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. This year, he has been linked to Mitzi Bickers, a Clayton Sheriff’s chaplain who was indicted in April in connection to the bribery scandal at Atlanta City Hall. Charges against her include witness tampering, wire fraud and money laundering.”
Hawes' brother, Rodney Williams, a former Clayton Sheriff’s Office chaplain, is in a legal battle against the department as well.
Hawes is still planning on running against Hill in 2020.
We wrote about Sheriff Hill in 2016 in an article about a former deputy who blew the whistle on him, only to wind up indicted.
Jonathan Newton went on to become an attorney and launch the National Association Against Police Brutality.