County Commission unanimously approves criminal court's unexpected $300,000 request

PHOTO BY PAUL LEACH Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd

The County Commission granted an unexpected $300,000 request by Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk Vince Dean on Wednesday.

Dean has said he needs money from the county general fund to pay personnel expenses, citing a revenue shortfall - not "a mismanagement or budgetary issue" - as the reason. Criminal Court clerk offices pay employee salaries from a portion of felony-related fees they collect and turn over to the state. The money will be used in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Commissioner Tim Boyd and Dean traded plenty of barbs before commissioners voted 9-0 to approve the request.

"I'm extremely disappointed that this is not considered by you as a budgetary issue," said Boyd, stating that similar circumstances would be considered "mismanagement of funds" in the private sector.

Boyd discounted several factors Dean has cited as underlying causes of the revenue shortfall, including difficulties in collecting court-ordered felony fines from criminals.