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October 7th, 2010 By | News | Posted In: Courts, County Commission, 2010 Election

Dem Chairman Wants Court Records


Amid rumors that the FBI is investigating the Republican-controlled Hamilton County Courthouse, the local Democratic Party chairman Tuesday made a public records request to Clerk of Courts Patricia Clancy seeking all documents pertaining to uncollected bail bonds.

Sources at the courthouse have said up to $4 million in forfeited bail bonds that should've gone into Hamilton County's coffers hasn't been collected by the Clerk of Court's Office.

It's unclear whether the allegations are accurate and, if so, whether the uncollected bail bond money is the result of an administrative error or was intentional.

Hamilton County government is facing deficits in its stadium account, which has prompted the Democratic-controlled county commission to consider several options including possibly reducing a popular property tax rollback.

Democrat David Pepper is leaving the three-member county commission, which means whoever wins the November election — Democrat Jim Tarbell or Republican Chris Monzel — will determine which political party controls the group.

The bond rumors are so pervasive that Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Tim Burke filed a two-page public records request with the Clerk's Office. In the request, Burke asks for “any list or compilation showing open bond forfeitures and sums owed to the county, by whom, and when such sums became due as a result of bond forfeitures.”

Burke's request seeks all records from January through September including any electronic documents or e-mails concerning bond forfeitures.

“I recognize that it may take longer to accumulate certain documents than others, but based on the presumption that there are bond forfeiture lists kept in some form on a current basis, such a list should be easy to promptly provide and be made available for inspection,” Burke wrote.

“I specifically request that those records responsive to this request which are easily available be promptly produced even if not all records requested can be easily assembled,” he added.

A call this afternoon to Court Adminstrator John Williams wasn't immediately returned. CityBeat will update this item once more information is available.

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