Knox County Hosted Ken Burns Dinner

On May 14, 2018 I open Record Requested to Chris Caldwell, Knox County Finance Director and Mike Grider, Knox County Mayor PR flak a payment or two that Knox County had paid to sponsor the April 17, 2018 Ken Burns dinner that benefitted the East TN Historical Society and Lincoln Memorial University. Knox County has been unresponsive.

When the East TN Historical Society were contacted, they were very helpful and transparent. They provided the December 14, 2017 letter, invoice and the check from Knox County (signed by Mayor Tim Burchett) I have redacted the routing number and account number from the copy of the check, I am responsible that way.

The original screenshot that showed two payments was in error. There was only one payment. With the $9,900 payment two tables at the dinner were provided.

Knox County should address who and what process the two tables of guests were selected. Did the County Mayor award these dinners to political contributers and campaign workers for his current political campaign?

I have been told County Mayor employees Grider, Mark Jones and Dwight Van de Vate were three of the diners on the taxpayers dollars.

The question of significance for the $9,900 price is that it does not require Knox County Commission approval. Did Commission vote on this expenditure? If not, why not? The check was cut on 1/2/2018 for an April 17, 2018 event. What checks and balances does the County Commission have in County tax dollars potentially being used for personal and or political gain?

Again, I will reiterate the East TN Historical Society is worthy recipient of tax dollars. I would have preferred that Knox County provide the two tables to Knox County Middle or High School students that have an interest in the topic for the dinner, instead of rewards to high paid employees and or political supporters, contributors.

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