• Georgia sheriff arrests ex-deputy who wants to unseat him

    By: Leon Stafford, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Updated:

    JONESBORO, Ga. - A Georgia sheriff had a potential rival for his job arrested on charges of filing false documentation and violation of oath of office.

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill issued the arrest warrants for Robert Hawes on Monday in Jonesboro, Georgia.

    Hawes is a former deputy in the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office. He announced plans to run for the office earlier this month. He was booked into the county jail just before 10:30 p.m. Monday. He is being held on charges of making false statements, making false official certificates and two counts of violating his oath as a public officer. Bond was set at $26,000. Supporters expect that he will be released around 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. Tuesday.

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    The news comes a week after Hill had Hawes’ wife, Gerrian Hawes, arrested and jailed over several emails she sent him earlier this year. Hill said the emails were harassing and that she refused to discontinue the communication even after he asked her to stop.

    The arrest last Wednesday of Gerrian Hawes was livestreamed by her husband on Facebook. Gerrian Hawes also livestreamed a follow-up on the social network after being released Thursday.

    “The last 24 hours have been crazy,” Hawes said in the livestream before thanking supporters. “I’m not crying because I’m hurt, I’m not crying because I’m sad. I’m just so emotional now.”

    The couple have accused Hill of trying to intimidate them because Robert Hawes plans to challenge him for sheriff in 2020. Neither Hill nor his representatives have returned calls for comment. 

    In Monday’s arrest warrants of Robert Hawes -- which were posted to the Sheriff’s Office Nixle site -- Hill said his action related to a late 2017 incident in which the former deputy could not account for the whereabouts of his service weapon. 

    The department, seeking in October 2017 to replace its Glock 42s with Glock 43s, had sought the Glock 42 assigned to Hawes. The former deputy allegedly turned in a Glock 42 that had been bought from a pawn shop.

    After an investigation was launched, Robert Hawes told the office he mistakenly sold his assigned weapon to an Atlanta Police Department officer, the Sheriff’s Office said. That later turned out to be a lie, the department alleged, and after being put on administrative leave without pay, Hawes resigned to avoid being fired. 

    In the Nixle explanation about the issuance of the warrants against Hawes, the Sheriff’s Office also alleged a past issue with a missing weapon assigned to Hawes dating back to 2014. Hawes said that weapon was in a place where his son and his son’s friends could access it. 

    The Nixle report also called into question Hawes record with the APD and whether he had left there under a cloud.

    The report said that a lieutenant was demoted to sergeant and another was fired for lying to investigators and tipping off Hawes that officers planned to arrest Hawes’ son, who was not named, on July 30. 

    Hawes’ son is suspected in the disappearance of two weapons, but the department did not provide details about the guns or from where they were taken.

     

    Chelsea Prince with the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this story.

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