Changes coming soon to the Knox criminal court clerk's office

Changes coming soon to the Knox County criminal court clerk's office

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Joy McCroskey Joy McCroskey
Even as McCroskey prepares for her exit, issues with the court clerk's office are still unresolved. Even as McCroskey prepares for her exit, issues with the court clerk's office are still unresolved.
Knox County Internal Auditor Andrea Williams has been busy preparing a procedural audit of the Knox County criminal justice system. Knox County Internal Auditor Andrea Williams has been busy preparing a procedural audit of the Knox County criminal justice system.
Commissioners requested the audit after numerous record keeping issues were reported. Commission Chair Brad Anders believes the procedural audit will be successful. Commissioners requested the audit after numerous record keeping issues were reported. Commission Chair Brad Anders believes the procedural audit will be successful.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Joy McCroskey made it official Wednesday that she's not running for re-election. Sources told 6 News Tuesday that McCroskey had notified her employees. The next day, she submitted a letter to the election commission withdrawing from the race.

McCroskey has been under scrutiny since last year when problems came to light with paperwork and record keeping, problems that led to a number of wrongful arrests.

Even as McCroskey prepares for her exit, issues with the court clerk's office are still unresolved.

Knox County Internal Auditor Andrea Williams has been busy preparing a procedural audit of the Knox County criminal justice system.

"We will look at what's being done and how all the players and pieces fit together. Can we get the desired outcome of the criminal justice process with the current process that's in place," said Williams.

Commissioners requested the audit after numerous record keeping issues were reported. Commission Chair Brad Anders believes the procedural audit will be successful.

"I think they'll find some efficiency and hopefully find some ways to fix the problems that have been recurring," said Anders.

Williams has met with people from each department involved in the Knox County criminal justice system. She says the audit will take about three months to complete.

"To gather documentation, to have interviews, to observe the process itself and document our work and produce a report," said Williams.

A final report will be presented to commissioners. Williams says the results of the auditor are just recommendations. The commission and each department will decide what changes to make.

"I hope to give them some really great information that they can evaluate their decision making related to the process," said Williams.

Anders hopes a new criminal court clerk will bring change to the office.

"Hopefully in the future we go paperless and I think that will be more efficient and I think there will be fewer mistakes that way," said Anders.

Currently, McCroskey is facing one civil lawsuit from an alleged wrongful arrest. According to the Knox County law director, even if McCroskey is no longer in the criminal court clerk position, she will still be responsible for the lawsuit filed against her office while she worked in the position.

Another person has hired an attorney for an alleged wrongful arrest. A lawsuit has not yet been filed.

While McCroskey is out of the race, there's a new possible contender. The election commission tells 6 News that assistant district attorney Jason Hunnicutt picked up a petition Wednesday to run in the republican primary for the criminal court clerk's office. Fellow republican challengers include County Commissioner Mike Hammond and attorney Steve Williams.

McCroskey still has $5,534.45 in her campaign account. Since she is no longer running, election officials say that money can be used to run for an office in the future, it can be returned to donors, contributed to another candidate's campaign or given to a church or non-profit. The campaign money cannot be used for anything personal.


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