I’d say that about wraps up the interim/appointed sheriff, J.J. Jones.
He decries the fact Joan Berry endorsed my campaign as a political move but says nothing about slapping his stickers on Johnia Berry’s posters and taking credit for the family’s tireless efforts.
He treated the 2007 arrest of a suspect in her 2004 death like a back-slapping party and made a statement in front of a family member that reduced it to a sporting feat by a quarterback.
His website calls into question my handling of the city as mayor. That is the height of hypocrisy from a man who had to be forced to pay child support.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel covered this story in 1997.
Copyright: Knoxville News-Sentinel – May 21, 1997
A chancellor has ordered the Knox County Sheriff’s Department to pay $1,600 in child support on behalf of its chief of detectives.
According to Knox County Deputy Finance Director Steve de Mik, this is the first time taxpayers have been ordered to foot a child support bill.
“I’ve never seen it before,” de Mik said. “Back in payroll, they were going, ‘What is this?’ ”
The judgment arose from a pending divorce between KCSD Chief of Detectives Jimmy “J.J.” Jones and Susan Jones, who is an officer with the Knoxville Police Department.
A divorce action was filed in September 1995, and the case is set for trial next month, records show.
The couple have two children, a 5-year-old boy and a boy who was born four months after the divorce was filed.
On December 9, 1996, Susan Jones ‘ attorney, Jeffrey A. Woods, obtained an order garnishing $542 from Jimmy Jones’ bi-weekly checks from the Sheriff’s Department. The garnishment was sent by certified mail to KCSD, records show.
On Jan. 24, 1997, Woods petitioned Knox County Chancellor Fred McDonald for a hearing because the Sheriff’s Department had not garnished Jimmy Jones’ wages.
In the meantime, Woods contacted de Mik’s office about the garnishment.
“That order was never sent to our office,” de Mik said. “We didn’t know about it until the plaintiff’s attorney called us.” The garnishment was instituted on Jan. 24. A hearing was conducted Feb. 21 before McDonald, but no one from the Sheriff’s Department showed, records state.
McDonald on March 19 issued the order for the KCSD to pay the amount that should have been withheld from Jimmy Jones’ paychecks in December and January.
Under state law, an employer that fails to garnish an employee’s wages becomes liable for the amount of the court-ordered withholdings.
McDonald’s order was sent March 20 to the KCSD, records show, but no action was taken.
Jimmy Jones wrote a personal check on April 15 for $1,084 and sent it to the finance department, but de Mik said no one knew what it was for, so it was placed in a vault at the payroll department.
When The Knoxville News-Sentinel contacted de Mik last week about McDonald’s order, he realized why Jimmy Jones’ check was written.
“The whole thing was brought to our attention with your phone call,” de Mik said. “The Sheriff’s Department said they were being represented by the law department, but the law department said they knew nothing about it.”
Knox County Law Director Richard Beeler said Tuesday his office “didn’t know anything about this until de Mik called us.”
Mike Ruble, chief administrator at KCSD, who also serves as the agency’s attorney, did not return phone calls for comment.
The check for $1,626 was issued Monday to the court, de Mik said, and Jimmy Jones’ personal check will be cashed.
“The sheriff will have to go back to the employee to collect the outstanding amount,” de Mik said. “This really isn’t a burden on the taxpayers because we’ll be collecting it from the employee. But even if we don’t collect anything from the employee, we will still pay the judgment.”
Woods said the episode “has been very frustrating. Typically it is the Sheriff’s Department that serves these things, but they didn’t serve it on themselves.”
Jimmy Jones declined comment Tuesday because the divorce is pending. He referred questions to his attorney, Tommy Hindman.
“I think my client has done everything he’s supposed to do,” Hindman said while declining further comment.
All of the above was reported in 1997. Some of the comments under the paper’s coverage of the Berry endorsement made reference to this, too, so it’s not a secret.
If not for the paper’s reporting in 1997, it would have never come to light.
It is very telling when the man who would be sheriff has to be forced to pay child support and his employer, who happened to be Tim Hutchison, conveniently forgot to garnish the wages and nearly stuck the taxpayers with the bill.
Jones and Hutchison celebrate on “Black Wednesday.”
His own man? Ha! Ha! Ha!
And since it’s Wednesday:
Jones and Hutchison are terrified I might win Thursday.
Why? Because my first act will be to order an independent audit and justify every expenditure in the sheriff’s department from helicopters to bulldozers to cars to lease agreements to contracts.
The gravy train would dry up for a lot of people who have been rewarded for blind loyalty (and rewarded with personal financial gain) and forgot who they really answer to – YOU.
That is YOUR money. Not theirs.
The ABSOLUTE LAST THING that JONES and HUTCHISON want is an OUTSIDE AUDIT. They CAN’T AFFORD IT!
Knox County has a chance Thursday to take back our sheriff’ department and take it away from those who have used it to enrich their personal lives.
Remember, this time YOU decide!
P.S. My wife and son placed thousands of campaign flyers in tubes in Knox County neighborhoods over the past two days. Hopefully the Knox County commissioner – he knows who he is – that was caught yanking up my campaign sign didn’t steal these, too.