published Friday, November 30th, 2012, updated Nov. 30th, 2012 at 4:20 p.m.

East Ridge court clerk election set for March 5

East Ridge will hold a special election for City Court Clerk on March 5, City Manager Tim Gobble said in a news release today.

The qualifying deadline is noon Dec. 20. Whoever is elected to the nonpartisan position will serve until the next regular county election in August 2014, when a clerk will be elected for a full four-year term.

Qualifying petitions and more information are available at the Hamilton County Election Commission office at 700 River Terminal Road, or by phone at 423-493-5100.

The East Ridge City Council voted in October to change the clerk’s position from one named by the municipal judge to an elected office.

Gobble had pushed for the change. In September, he suspended Clerk JoAnn Thomas and reprimanded two other city court employees for “insubordination” over the rescheduling of a court case involving a robbery charge. His daughter had been a victim in that case, newspaper archives show.

Gobble also told council members the problems in the court clerk’s office started before he became city manager. Audits in 2010 and 2011 revealed ongoing, unresolved issues, he said, including failure to properly maintain records, failure to collect fines and failure to alert victims, police and witnesses of court scheduling changes, according to newspaper archives.

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