Duncan III, Employees to Refund $40,000 in Bonuses

Knox County Trustee John Duncan III and a half dozen of his employees have agreed to pay back more than $40,000 in incentive payments for participating in a government-related program that they never completed, reports Mike Donila.
Duncan told the News Sentinel on Monday he hasn’t resolved all the details, but some of his workers will ma one-time payments for as much as $6,000 and others “may need extra time to make monthly installments.”
“I believe returning the payments will erase any concerns some may have about our intentions to serve the peop of Knox County with the utmost integrity and respect for their hard-earned tax dollars,” he said in a released statement.
The announcement came late Monday, several hours after he met with Commissioner R. Larry Smith who had asked Knox County Commission last week to look into the bonuses.
“I was real pleased,” said Smith. “I still want to talk about some of the other issues that are out there, and I think there are things that the taxpayers need to know, like who gets to take the class and how they’re paid. But the discussion (at next Tuesday’s commission meeting) isn’t going to be nearly as long.”
The trustee first gave himself and six other employees each a $3,000 education bonus — most of it tied to the University of Tennessee County Technical Assistance Services, or CTAS, program — in December 2010, three months after taking office. None of the employees were certified.

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