Richard Collins, the attorney for former Knox County Criminal Court Clerk worker Sara Helms released the following statement today:
My firm was recently retained to represent Sara in connection with her September 27, 2013 discharge from the Knox County Criminal Clerk’s Office.
Sara worked for Knox County for over thirteen years.
She was a dedicated employee, who had recently been promoted to serve as the Courtroom Clerk for Division I (Judge Sword). Sara had every expectation of enjoying a long career with the County but was abruptly fired by Joy McCroskey, the Knox County Criminal Court Clerk.
While our investigation is on-going, we can say that Ms. McCroskey gave no details behind the termination decision, save for the vague assertion that some of Sara’s courtroom “minutes” were inaccurate.
To be clear, we categorically deny any suggestion that my client was responsible for the mismanagement of the clerk’s office generally or the recent controversies over false arrests and other misconduct.
Judge Sword observed Sara’s work performance firsthand and, to our knowledge, never complained about Sara’s performance of her official duties.
Frankly, almost daily the circumstances surrounding Sara’s termination grow more and more suspicious.
Not only was she a good employee, internal policies regarding progressive discipline were ignored.
Given the timing of events, one cannot escape the conclusion that Ms. McCroskey was motivated by the negative publicity her office was facing and continues to confront.