Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen can’t discuss open cases, but in the two years since she took office, she has become convinced that existing state law is too antiquated to deal with the growing problem of elder abuse.
“Laws (addressing elder abuse) have always been on the books, but it’s not clearly defined. There’s the Criminal Code and the Adult Protective Services section, and we haven’t been able to rely on criminal laws. Last year, laws went on the books but there was still no comprehensive rewrite under the criminal code. New types of crimes are being committed – exploitation and financial crimes,” Allen said.
Tears, excuses and a dose of public humiliation were the main features of the periodic parent roundups that used to be a staple of local TV news. The district attorney general would send out threatening letters to parents – typically single mothers – of chronically truant kids and require them to come in and explain why their children were missing so much school.
Today, there’s a new DA in town, and she’s trying a new approach.
Lots of folks are wondering how former Knox County Trustee Mike Lowe got such a light sentence after pleading guilty to theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from county taxpayers.
While he got 10 years, he serves only one year, which will be reduced to seven months assuming good behavior. He was assessed a $200,000 fine, but no schedule was announced for paying it over the next 10 years. What happens if he fails to pay in a timely manner or at all?