Friday, November 18, 2016

Debate over whether to merge Knox Co. criminal, circuit court systems

Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Mike Hammond would like to put most of the county’s court system under one umbrella, a move that he says would help the offices “operate more efficiently” and “serve to once again generate excess fees” for local government.

His counterpart - Knox County Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Shanks - says the plan is "regressive" and the supposed financial benefits "are not realistic."

Hammond's proposal comes in the wake of a WBIR 10News investigation in late October that detailed the county Circuit Court Office's failure to turn over any money to the county coffers – for the fourth year in a row and the fifth time in the past six years.

MORE: Hammond's memo to the Knox County mayor
MORE: Shanks' memo to the Knox County mayor
MORE: No extra fees from Knox Co Circuit Ct Clerk four years running

As it stands, the criminal court clerk is responsible for the criminal, sessions and fourth circuit courts. The circuit court clerk oversees civil sessions and juvenile court.

Hammond's plan, which was detailed in a 2-page memo marked “confidential” and sent to Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett on Nov. 8, provides two options. WBIR obtained a copy of the memo under the state's open records law.

You can find the rest of the story HERE.

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