Aug 15 2017
01:42 pm

This story doesn't make any sense.

According to the report, Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Mike Hammond hired a guy he knew was a convicted felon. The federal conviction did not show up on a background check. Even though Hammond knew about it, he says he wouldn't have hired the guy if the conviction had shown up on the background check. Huh?

Then there's the question of how the outside company hired to do the background check missed the conviction. The paper says it turns up on a simple google search.

Regardless, what's the big deal about hiring someone convicted of a non-violent felony to do some filing? Sounds like he's at least somewhat familiar with criminal justice procedure.

bizgrrl's picture

The article was also

The article was also confusing as to where the background check covers. One person said Tennessee and Georgia. Another person said it is a national background check. Both people supposedly work for Knox County.

Would it be better if they used TBI like Knox County Schools?

Don't know enough details to say if he is a good fit for the job since we don't know enough about what he is to be filing.

Bbeanster's picture

I knew Bernard. He was a

I knew Bernard. He was a reporter for WIVK back in the day and was good at his job.

I didn't know much about the trouble he got into, but what the hell are people who have served their time supposed to do after they are released?

Commit suicide?

Every week I think the News Sentinel can't get any worse.
Every week they surprise me.

I've done some very critical stories about Mike Hammond in the recent past, and I felt they were justified. This one isn't.

This is a heartless piece of crap. I'd be ashamed to put my name on it.

cwg's picture

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Treehouse's picture

Speaking of crap...

Victor Ashe's comments about Mayor Rogero were ugly and written from the perspective of white privilege. Not everybody in Knoxville is Christian or thinks public displays of Bible verses is a good thing. When we stand up to evil, let's also call out irrational commentary from former public figures who are still given a voice in the daily newspaper (which, yes, gets worse every day).

Bbeanster's picture

Agree, but this needs its own

Agree, but this needs its own thread.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Glad to see an appreciation for "grace" here, guys. Agreed that a convicted felon who has served his time needs the ability to start a new life someway. Addison's part-time position sounds like an entry-level one, so presumably he'll get lots of supervision.

Biz, I watched that snippet of a video at the KNS site and Hammond is saying something about expungement in it? I couldn't quite tell what he was saying about expungement, though. Did you watch it and if so was your impression that Hammond was explaining that Addison's conviction had been expunged from his record? That would explain its not appearing on the criminal background check, I guess.

bizgrrl's picture

Didn't watch the

Didn't watch the video.

Addison was released from prison Aug. 1, 2016. He was sentenced to an additional two years of supervised release.
On Tuesday he said he is going to begin the process next month of petitioning the court to drop his final year of supervised release.

I am not very familiar with the system. However, it seems like if he is under supervised release, his record would not be expunged. I don't know.

Jamie Satterfield's picture


Disclaimer: Didn't write the story and have no opinion on its publication.
Addison's conviction was federal. I covered it like all other local media. It cannot be expunged. Defendants may petition to be released from their court-ordered supervision early but it's rarely granted since most federal cases involve violence, drugs, guns, etc... But even if Addison were granted an early release from supervision, the conviction stands.
There should have been no reason a federal conviction sustained in the Eastern District of Tennessee didn't show up on a background unless the background was conducted only of state databases. That would be a flawed system since many counties in Tennessee do not maintain electronic files. TBI uses fingerprints to conduct its searches. If you are arrested, you must be fingerprinted and those cards filed with TBI and FBI. It's a pretty fail safe means of background checking. I would question the reliability of the firm used by Knox - and apparently other governments - given a failure to unearth a federal conviction or even to do a Google search.
As I recall from the facts of Addison's case, he suffered from the disease of addiction and was essentially homeless when he was hit up by the scammers to join in the racket. It was very sad. I'm glad to see he has landed on his feet. We say we want to "rehabilitate" criminals but then won't hire them. Makes no sense to me. But, again, I make no judgment on the story, its structure or publication. It's the background check that caught my eye as a reader.

Bbeanster's picture

i don't know anything about

i don't know anything about Hammon's babble. He just needs to man up and defend his decision. It's not like anybody who knew Bernard didn't know what had happened to him. It was reported by every local news outlet.

I get the who what where of this story. Not the why.

Only legit news angle I can see is maybe the county needs to find a new credential-checking outlet. But that certainly wasn't the lede.

fischbobber's picture

Looks like.....

Gotcha journalism and petty personal politics to me.

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