Knox County commissioner may run for criminal court clerk

Knox County commissioner may run for criminal court clerk, cites problems in clerk's office

Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond
Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Joy McCroskey (source: Knox County) Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Joy McCroskey (source: Knox County)

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knox County commissioner says there are problems in the office of Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Joy McCroskey. Those problems could mean McCroskey faces a challenge in the next election cycle.

Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond says he's heard from at least a half dozen different county sources that issues in the Knox County Criminal Court Clerk's Office are causing possible legal liabilities for the sheriff's office and the county, with people being improperly arrested and cases being dismissed.

"One of the issues is people have been arrested when they shouldn't have been. That obviously is a problem anytime that you take someone's freedom away and they shouldn't, and they have to spend time in detention and getting a lawyer etc. That's cause for concern, and if it was one instance, everybody makes a mistake. But it's my understanding that there have been multiple instances of this," said Hammond.

McCroskey says she only knows of one person being arrested improperly, and the mistake wasn't made by her office.

Hammond also says he's heard several cases have been dismissed because of disorganization in McCroskey's office.

"In Sessions Court, some cases were dismissed because the paperwork was not there. And the cases were called, and rather than bring the people back, because they were there for their cases to be hear,d and rather than bring them back, it's my understanding that the judge dismissed those," said Hammond.

McCroskey says this is not happening due to any issues with her department and the sources are incorrect.

"I think some of it is disgruntled former employees," said McCroskey.

Hammond says he is being urged to run against McCroskey.

"I'm looking at is very seriously. I'm talking with a lot of people. I will have an announcement in 30 days or less on my intention for running for that seat," said Hammond.

"He's got every right in the world to do exactly what he wants to do," said McCroskey.

6 News is continuing to investigate these allegations. 6 News is looking at records, personnel files and e-mails.

Both Hammond and McCroskey are Republicans. The primary is coming up in May of next year.

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