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Judge denies judicial diversion to Kelly Horne

By Paula Walter
Kelly Horne, a former Johnson County employee, appeared in Criminal Court on Friday, November 30, 2012 for sentencing related to eight charges that included theft, forgery and official misconduct. She had been charged with stealing over $40,000 from the Johnson County Solid Waste Station during the time period between September 2010 and August 2011. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested her on March 28, 2012.
Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood sentenced Horne, who pled guilty to the charges, to three years probation. Horne had requested and was denied judicial diversion. Judicial diversion is a program for first-time offenders where no jail time is served. At the end of a successful probationary period, all records related to the charges are expunged from the records. “I am pleased with the judge’s decision,” said Johnson County Mayor Larry Potter. “Whether it be the mayor of the county or a clerk working in an office, you should go strictly by the law. Actions such as this should not get judicial diversion.”
Johnson County’s insurance company, Local Government Property and Casualty Fund, had previously reimbursed the county for the stolen monies, less the $1,000 deductible. Horne had been ordered in a previous court appearance to make restitution of the $1,000 to the county. Milligan and Coleman, a legal firm representing Local Government Property and Casualty Fund, had Horne served with a summons and complaint, the first step required to file a civil lawsuit to recoup monies they paid to Johnson County in its insurance claim.