McCroskey's response to allegations of mistakes in her office

Court Clerk McCroskey responds to allegations of mistakes leading to false arrests

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"[We will] have everybody sitting at the same table and talk about things that are potentially wrong not trying to place blame but we have to fix it," said Commission Chair Brad Anders. "[We will] have everybody sitting at the same table and talk about things that are potentially wrong not trying to place blame but we have to fix it," said Commission Chair Brad Anders.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Joy McCroskey submitted paperwork Monday to the Knox County Commission with her explanation about some allegations of mistakes in her office leading to false arrests and cases being dismissed.

Commission Chair Brad Anders says commissioners are now reviewing the information and the IT department is gathering data on the allegations as well. Anders says there are plans in the works to help improve the justice system.

"The IT department is kind of looking at the data, from what went on in the courtroom to what's in the clerk's office, if there's any difference there and why there's a difference there," said Anders.

After the data is gathered on the accusations of mistakes in the clerk's office, Anders says there will be a meeting in the next couple of weeks with the judges, the district attorney, the sheriff, the clerk, and everyone involved in the criminal justice process.

"[We will] have everybody sitting at the same table and talk about things that are potentially wrong not trying to place blame but we have to fix it," said Anders.

Assistant DA Samyah Jubran lists in emails multiple issues she's encountered with the clerk's office. One email details an issue with clerks not locating a defendant's citation. Jubran says the clerk "told me they were still looking for Mr. Cole's but likely won't find it." Jubran dismissed the case.

In McCroskey's typed response, she says the citation was on a judge's desk. "The judge returned the citation to the clerk's office after this and stated he had found it on his desk."

In another email, Jubran says a defendant from South Carolina was told by the clerk's office she had to appear in court.

McCroskey's response was: "The clerk stated she did not tell her she had to come to court, the defendant stated she wanted to come."

In another case, Jubran says the clerk's office entered a defendant's information in the data system incorrectly. Another Assistant DA responded saying, "I was totally going to get him arrested Monday."

McCroskey says a DUI was reduced to a public intoxication, but a clerk entered the conviction as a DUI and "when it was brought to our attention we corrected the error."

Commissioner Anders says the Commission will review the paperwork from McCroksey, but they have no control over her office. Anders says the clerk's office also doesn't follow the county human resources department's employee handbook or policy for hiring and firing. Anders says it would be beneficial for the clerk's office to have that kind of oversight.

"Some have chosen to do that, and I think it is prudent to do that. We can encourage but we can't force them to do that," said Anders.

Anders says all the problems need to be fixed first, then the commission can move forward with considering an audit. He says for an audit to happen, the issues need to be known so the areas of concern can be looked at closely.

Anders says the meeting with officials should happen in the next couple of weeks. The topic of an audit won't be addressed for at least another three weeks.

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