Monday, April 21, 2014

Another candidate faces legal action

Jason Hunnicutt
Another Knox County candidate who is running for the criminal court clerk’s seat is facing civil action.

Records show that a summons has been issued for Jason Hunnicutt, a prosecutor who works in the county’s District Attorney General’s Office. The action was brought by the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, which says he owes the operation $486.64 and another $162 in court costs.

Hunnicutt faces Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond and local attorney Steve Williams in the Republican primary. Incumbent Joy McCroskey opted not to seek re-election. No Democrats filed to run, so whoever wins on May 6 will begin serving a four-year term at the beginning of September.

On Friday, Hunnicutt told 10News that “all my bills are paid.” When asked why the hospital would seek money from him, he said that in the past he had disputed a bill regarding emergency room services “because of the deductible, but it’s been paid.”

His court date is set for May 7.

Earlier this month, WBIR 10News first reported that the federal government has levied tax liens against at least two judicial Knox County candidates and a civil judgment was issued against a third.

Records show that one of Hunnicutt’s opponents, Steve Williams, owes a combined $24,562.89 in taxes from 2003-05. Records show that Williams didn't pay federal unemployment taxes for his business, individual income taxes and he faced penalties for failing to file the correct information.

Williams said he's paying off the tax debt and he owed about $16,000 at this point.

He said his wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, and that the medicine she needed was expensive.

Also, Blount County's Tennessee Endoscopy Center in May 2013 received a judgment against him for $2,368.58.

A civil judgment also was issued against Clarence "Eddie" Pridemore, a Republican attorney who will face Daryl Fansler, a Democrat and incumbent for the Chancellor, Part II seat in the August general election.

GE Monday Bank in May 2011 received a judgment against Pridemore for a Lowe's credit card debt totaling $3,709.66.

Further, records show that Patti Jane Lay, a Republican seeking the circuit court judge Div. IV seat, owes a combined $58,069.11 in individual income taxes from 2000 through 2003. The federal lien was filed against her four years ago, according to records in the Knox County Register of Deeds Office.

One lien is against her and husband, John Baugh, for $46,700. The other is against her for $11,300.

Lay called the liens "a clerical mistake" that "involves a partnership return prepared and filed by someone else that contains other individual's tax information."

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