Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Mike Hammond presented Knox County with a check for $1.2 million at the December 21, 2015 Knox County Commission meeting. The $1.2 million in revenue was presented to Knox County after a thorough year-long review that resulted when a $2.6 million account was discovered by the newly elected Clerk. In total, Mr. Hammond has been able to turn over approximately $1.5 million to Knox County.
The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, Mike Hammond and his staff have worked diligently to identify the source of the funds. After extensive research, numerous meetings and the review of thousands of cases, the group ascertained the account’s funds comprised of years of cases with only partially paid court costs. The account was intended to temporarily hold partial payments made until the full amount was collected and later distributed to the county, courts, state and other parties. However, these distributions were not made in the past and the failure to report and pay litigation taxes made it difficult to determine whether the right fees were paid out of the account. The group’s dedication and due diligence helped them to successfully appropriate the funds and allowed them to rightfully return excess funds back to the county.
Mr. Hammond also reported that more than $518,000 has been transferred to the state for litigation taxes. Additionally, Mr. Hammond has been able to realize a $900,000 increase in the Clerk’s reserve fund, bringing it up to the amount required by law. This allowed for an additional $50,000 check to be presented to Knox County for excess fees. The presented checks will be instrumental in assisting the county with increasing its reserves.