Convicted former Knox trustee briefly jailed for failing to pay restitution

Former Knox County Trustee Mike Lowe was arrested Tuesday on a probation violation charge for falling behind — to the tune of $13,450 — in paying restitution to county coffers for his admitted thievery, reports the News Sentinel. He was released from jail after posting a bond of $13,450.

Knox County Assistant District Attorney General Bill Bright sought a violation of probation warrant against Lowe, alleging he has been behind in restitution payments since June.

Knox County Criminal Court records show Lowe had been paying the $1,850 monthly payment toward the $200,000 he agreed to repay county coffers until June. He then began paying small amounts each month, ranging from $200 to $500, those records show.

Lowe’s defense attorney, Gregory P. Isaacs, said Lowe has been doing his best to comply with the terms of his probation.

“Former Trustee Mike Lowe has continued to make good faith efforts regarding his restitution in spite of economic difficulties,” Isaacs said.

Knox County Criminal Court Judge Bob McGee set a cash bond of $13,450 — the amount Lowe was in arrears in his payments. Isaacs said Lowe posted that bond.

“We were able to work with family members and successfully obtained Mike’s release (Tuesday) afternoon,” Isaacs said. “He continues to make any and all efforts he is required to do.”

… Lowe, who served as Knox County trustee for 13 years, admitted via a March 2015 plea deal that he put two friends — Delbert Morgan and Ray Mubarak — on his payroll and authorized overtime, bonuses and benefits for them even though neither did any work for the county.

That scheme robbed county coffers of more than $400,000 in salary and benefits, and a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report said Morgan and Mubarak gave Lowe a cut of their ill-gotten pay.

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