Bonding secured for new Knox County trustee

7:42 PM, Jul 25, 2013   |    comments
Craig Leuthold
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(WBIR - Knoxville) New Knox County Trustee Craig Leuthold has been bonded by a different bonding company than the county previously used to bond that office.

Leuthold told 10News that he was bonded by The Hanover Insurance Group on Thursday.

The cost of bonding the trustee jumped from $8,500 up to around $55,000, Leuthold said.

The trustee is responsible for collecting and investment of property tax dollars, and must be bonded to protect the county against losses.

Bonding became an issue earlier in July when the Hartford Group, the company which previously bonded the trustee, refused to bond Kristin Phillips, who served as interim trustee, in the few weeks she held the position.

On July 16, a Hartford Group representative told the county they could not support the interim trustee's bond because "there appears to be a track record of misconduct with the position of trustee for Knox County," pointing to John Duncan III, who resigned earlier this month after pleading guilty to official misconduct and to prior trustee Mike Lowe, who was indicted last April and is charged with stealing from the county.

After Hartford's decision, the county began seeking another bonding options.

Leuthold took office Monday after the Knox County Commission voted 6-4 to have him serve the rest of Duncan's term.

Leuthold told 10News Thursday his only staffing decision so far was to retain Phillips as chief of staff.

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