Fired sheriff's deputy fights to be reinstated

Athens Banner-Herald, Georgia/January 30, 2007
By Joe Johnson


An ex-Clarke County sheriff's deputy spent hours Monday grilling former superiors, colleagues and others in a bid to win back his job after he was fired for practicing a black supremacist cult's beliefs at the jail.

William York is one of four deputies who were fired in November after an internal sheriff's investigation concluded they compromised security at the jail by recruiting prisoners into the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors.

The three other former deputies also have appealed, and more hearings will be held through March.

A fifth deputy affiliated with the Nuwaubians resigned after the jail probe.

The first deputy to appeal was York, who changed his last name from Walker after he resigned in 2004 from the Macon Police Department to protest that the department wouldn't investigate Nuwaubians' claims that their leader was innocent.

York and the other fired deputies followed Dwight "Malachi" York, the Nuwaubian's leader who is serving a 135-year federal prison sentence on child molestation, racketeering, money laundering and other charges.

William York could have hired an attorney to argue that he be reinstated, but instead he chose to represent himself, according to Athens attorney Dean Clark, who York subpoenaed.

Clark would not say what questions York asked him during the hearing at the Athens-Clarke County Department of Human Resources on Satula Avenue.

York gave one of Clark's clients Nuwaubian literature while the man was a prisoner at the Clarke County Jail, Clark has said before.

Other people called to testify at the appeals hearings included Jail Commander Jack Mitchell and Chief Deputy Sheriff Gene Mays, according to Clark.

The hearing, which started at 9 a.m., may continue today, according to the sheriff's spokesman, Capt. Eric Pozen.


"We don't know for sure if it's continued or not for (today), but that appears to be the case," he said.

Even if York's hearing lasted only one day, the administrative hearing officer - who acts as a judge - doesn't usually issue a decision the same day as the hearing, Pozen said.

York, Rena Jennings, Anthony Montgomery and Bobby Dixon all were fired after the sheriff's investigation concluded they jeopardized safety and security at the jail by, among other things, encouraging inmates to rebel against white deputies and not give black deputies any problems.

The deputies also violated policy by distributing Nuwaubian literature to inmates and trying to recruit inmates into their sect, according to an Aug. 17 report by the sheriff's office Internal Investigations Unit.

Montgomery's appeal hearing is scheduled for Feb. 19, Dixon's for March 5 and Jennings' for March 19.

A fifth deputy, Leon Adams, did not appeal; he was allowed to resign in lieu of termination.















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