Timecard shows Knox clerk took vacation time to campaign on Election Day

By: Brian Gregory, Rob Pratt
By: Brian Gregory, Rob Pratt

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- A Knox County employee who spent time campaigning at a West Knoxville polling place on Election Day, did so on vacation time, according to Knox County payroll records.

According to Jennifer Kite's timecard, obtained today by Volunteer TV News, Kite took five hours of annual leave for the time she spent working the polls on February 5th, 2008.

Kite works in the Knox County Circuit Court office as a clerk. She normally works an 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. shift, with an unpaid hour off for lunch.

Kite's timecard shows she clocked in at 8:00 a.m., and clocked out for the day at 10:30 a.m on Election Day.

A News-Sentinel reporter and photographer interviewed Kite while she was outside a polling place at Rocky Hill Elementary School on Election Day, helping Lee Trammel in his failed bid to retain his Knox County Commission seat.

The News-Sentinel printed a story in which Kite said her supervisor, Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Quist, asked her to work the polls for Trammel.

The News-Sentinel says she claimed she would not even have to take annual leave for time spent campaigning.

"If she misunderstood, if she was misinformed, I'm sorry," Quist told WVLT Volunteer TV's Rob Pratt the next day. "I sign every time sheet. When her time sheet comes across my desk, it'll be annual leave that's taken for it."

Kite told us she was misquoted by the newspaper, but News-Sentinel editor Jack McElroy told us the paper stands by the story. He says two professional journalists were there when Kite made the statement.

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