Editor's Note: An earlier headline to this story was misleading, and has been changed; a Sheriff's Office deputy and court bailiff were present during the situation to keep the peace, and walked with Circuit Clerk Karla Allsberry out of the Justice Center. She was ordered to leave the premises by Judge Patrick Flynn.
On May 28, Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Karla Allsberry was escorted out of her office in the Lincoln County Justice Center by a court bailiff and Sheriff’s Office deputy following Presiding Judge Patrick Flynn ordering her to leave the premises.
On May 18, Allsberry had filed suit against Flynn and local judges James Beck and Milan Berry – as well as 13 others throughout the state – regarding a decision made at the start of the year, where Flynn took over the ability to hire and fire employees in the circuit clerk’s office.
“I heard there was a possibility that it was going to happen,” Sheriff John Cottle said. “We ended up using Deputy [Ryan] Parker and Bailiff [Julie] Conner.”
Cottle stated it is not out of the norm to have deputies escort people from the building. In fact, its standard practice.
“That’s protocol, to escort someone out of the building and if there were to be a problem, because of the allegations already, we have somebody there. It is strictly to maintain the peace,” Cottle said.
Cottle added, “It wouldn’t matter if it were her or anybody else, especially if the judge requests it. I had a request to have a deputy at the last Silex board meeting, just in case there was a problem, so I sent a deputy over. This just happens to be two elected officials.”
A video taken of the event by Parker shows Parker and Conner following protocol and politely requesting that Allsberry leave the building, based on Flynn's orders.
In the video, Allsberry speaks with her attorney while still in her office, and complied with the officers’ request for her to leave the premises.
“My deputies acted professional. They were put in a position that they didn’t really want to be in,” Cottle said.
In the video taken by Parker, Allsberry repeatedly mentioned an audit that she needed to send to the state by the end of that day, that it was time sensitive.
“The Missouri State Auditor’s office has recently announced its plan to audit the records of the Lincoln County Circuit Court, a move opposed by Flynn,” Allsberry said in a written statement released May 29. “Although barred by Judge Flynn from entering the Justice Center, Allsberry remains the duly elected Circuit Clerk with full pay and benefits. Allsberry disputes Flynn’s legal authority to block an elected official from access to her office and is reviewing her legal options.”
A press release sent out late on Tuesday, May 28, from the presiding judge’s office announced that Dianne Doll had been appointed by Flynn as temporary circuit clerk for Lincoln County due to the “indefinite unavailability of Karla Kerpash Allsberry.”