That Knox County $1.5 Million Loan is Open to ANY Fee Office

Back on July 27, 2020, after the budget had passed in June 2020, the Knox County Circuit Court Clerk came begging the Knox County Commission for a $1.5 million dollar loan. Remember Clerk Charles Susano took office September 1, 2018 and has only returned $40,000 to the Knox County General Fund. That is from excess fees beyond his operational funds.

Susano before Knox County Commission Work Session - July 20, 2020

Susano before Knox County Commission Work Session – July 20, 2020, Resolution R-20-7-901 passed a week later on July 27, 2020

He says because of the pandemic, court filings are down and he needs a loan of $1.5 million (his yearly operational budget). The Knox County Commission approved this Resolution on July 27, 2020 granting the loan. I will be checking with Knox County Finance to see if any dollars have been loaned. The rumor was the Clerk would need the dollars by October 2020.

The Resolution language does NOT read that it is solely for the Knox County Circuit Court’s Office,

WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Knox County, Tennessee, has heretofore determined that it is necessary and advisable to issue up to $1,500,000 in aggregate principal amount of Revenue Anticipation Notes for the purpose of meeting appropriations from its Constitutional Officers Fund (the “Constitutional Officers Fund”);

If Knox County Criminal Court Clerk, Knox County Clerk, Knox County Register of Deeds, Knox County Trustee or Knox County Property Assessor needed it would appear they could borrow from the loan. I do not believe Clerk Mike Hammond, Clerk Sherry Witt, Register Nick McBride, Trustee Ed Shouse or Property Assessor John R. Whitehead run the offices in the manner that 1) they need the assistance and 2) needing to borrow an entire years budget because they kept their employees working during a month and half pandemic shutdown without court filings.

There are rumors of several Attorneys and political folks gearing up for a 2022 challenge to Clerk Susano.

Here is the explanation Clerk Susano supplied of the office to the Commissioners.


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