Republican nominee for the Criminal Court clerk race Vince Dean said he commits to Hamilton County "that he will be fully compliant with Tennessee law after identifying lapses in the current Criminal Court clerk’s office regarding state-mandated reporting."
He said, "According to state law, drug offenders must be reported to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Drug Offender Registry.
“As a state legislator, I joined others in working to end the production of methamphetamine which has tragically destroyed many Tennessee families through addiction and death.
The Drug Offender Registry, overseen by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, is to be updated regularly by Tennessee clerk offices so that a list is available to the public of all those convicted in the purchase of materials for, in the manufacturing of, or in the purchase or resale of meth.
”The registry was first created through the Meth-Free Tennessee Act of 2005 and was updated in 2014 to the“Drug Offender Registry,” cataloging offenses for a period of 10 years. In the legislation’s own words, a list of offenders is to be 'provided to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation by the appropriate clerk of every county.'
”Currently there have been only 60 convictions listed in the Drug Offender Registry for Hamilton County since the database was first active, despite Hamilton County consistently ranking among the top five counties in Tennessee for meth production:
13 in 2007
10 in 2008
17 in 2009
15 in 2010
2 in 2011
1 in 2012
2 in 2013
0 to date in 2014"
Rep. Dean said, “Our law enforcement officers and our judges cannot work effectively with incomplete information. As Criminal Court clerk, I will update this registry according to Tennessee law to help ensure sentencing in our county is accurate and criminals are properly identified.”
He said the Drug Offender Registry is public and available for viewing at the following link: https://apps.tn.gov/methor/.
Convictions for neighboring counties are also available: Bradley County shows 286 convictions; Rhea County shows 69 convictions; Meigs County shows 69 convictions; Marion County shows 63 convictions; and Sequatchie County shows 16 convictions.
Rep. Dean said. “My commitment to the citizens of Hamilton County is to fully uphold the requirements of the Criminal Court Clerk's office in strengthening its work in reducing crime."
He said he also previously pledged his commitment "to actively collect the more than $50 million in delinquent fines in Hamilton County— an issue that has allowed criminals to ignore judges’ rulings and effectively lighten their sentencing."
Early voting for Criminal Court clerk begins Friday and runs through Saturday, Aug. 2. Election Day is Thursday, Aug. 7.