Lincoln County, Mo. - In a battle that has lasted nearly a year, a Cole County judge has added a new twist to the saga of Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Karla Allsberry and 45th Circuit Court Presiding Judge Patrick Flynn
On Tuesday, Judge Daniel Green ruled Flynn, along with Judges James Beck and Milan Berry, acted illegally against Allsberry and issued an injunction against them to keep them interfering with her authority as Circuit Clerk.
In his ruling, Green voided an amendment to the county's 2003 Consolidation Agreement made on Jan. 11, 2019 which gave Flynn, as the Presiding Judge, the authority to hire and fire staff at the Circuit Clerk's Office.
On that day, Allsberry hired two deputy clerks to fill vacancies. Within minutes of the hirings, Flynn attempted to fire them. Later that day Judge Flynn held an en banc meeting in the middle of a snow storm regarding the 2003 Consolidation Agreement. According to the complaint, county offices had closed that day at noon, but Flynn, Beck and Berry voted to strip Allsberry of her appointing authority to hire, fire and discipline clerks.
In the coming days, Flynn attempted to force Allsberry to agree to what had happened in that meeting. She refused to agree to it, because she thought it was not legal.
One week later, the Circuit Court Budget Committee, which is comprised of state court judges, approved of the judge's actions. Allsberry filed an appeal, but the CCBC denied that appeal.
Green also reversed the committee's decision, saying the CCBC "exceeded the authority of the agency," and calling those actions "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable, and were unauthorized by law."
While the Cole County court ruled in favor of Allsberry, Green also ruled his court does not jurisdiction to rule on two administrative orders Flynn based the amendment on. The Missouri Supreme Court issued those rulings in 2009 and 2013.
Though Green ruled he did not have the power to overturn those orders, he did say he believed in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision in favor of Allsberry against Flynn, those orders are unconstitutional.