Circuit clerk suspended while under investigation
The Clark County Circuit Clerk was escorted from the Clark County Courthouse Wednesday afternoon and was placed on administrative leave pending an audit from the Office of State Court Administrators.
The investigation involves an anonymous report concerning possible financial improprieties in the Circuit Clerk's Office made to the Office of State Court Administrators, according to a press release statement issued by the presiding judge.
Circuit Judge Gary Dial issued the order Wednesday placing Circuit Clerk Mary Jones of Kahoka on paid administrative suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.
Investigators from the Missouri Supreme Court are scheduled to be at the office early Thursday morning, Associate Judge Rickey Roberts said.
Details of the investigation are currently unknown to the public. Roberts referred all further questions to Dial who is on vacation this week.
A Kahoka police officer remained at the courthouse overnight with orders to arrest anyone who entered the second floor. Roberts wanted to ensure that no one had an opportunity to enter the Circuit Clerk's Office until the auditors made their visit. The officer was relieved from the post at 7:15 a.m. Thursday.
"There won't be any disruptions today," Roberts said. "I have a very busy law day today and business will go on."
Jones is an elected official who has worked in some capacity with the Circuit Clerk's Office for at least the three decades that Roberts has sat on the bench.
Dial's one-page order addressed directly to Jones says that she is not allowed to enter her office or the courthouse during her suspension.
"However, you will be expected to remain available during if called upon to return to work or to meet with me or anyone involved in the investigation," he wrote. "you will be expected to cooperate with all parts of the investigation and failure to do so will result in appropriate charges to be filed against you."
Reached at her home in Kahoka today, Jones said she didn't wish to comment.
To read a copy of the letter from Judge Dial click here.
(Information courtesy of our sister station, KHQA-TV)