UPDATED AT 1:13 P.M. WITH COPY OF CONTEMPT ORDER
Lincoln County, Mo. - In the latest chapter of a nearly five-year legal battle, a judge has ruled 45th Circuit Presiding Judge Patrick Flynn must pay damages and attorneys’ fees after being found in contempt of court.
On Jan. 30, The Honorable Judge Jon Beetem entered a judgment against Flynn, and in favor of former Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Karla Allsberry in the amount of $5,000 after conducting another evidentiary hearing.
However, with the amount of money both parties have spent on this case – and the multiple hearings conducted – Beetem said he is “relatively certain that (the fine is substantially less than that each side spent in this action.”
In June of last year, Beetem found Flynn in contempt by violating the Missouri Supreme Court’s permanent injunction with an administrative order, interfering with Allsberry’s duties. Flynn was given a 10-day grace period to comply with Beetem’s order, or face a $100 per day fine until he did comply.
Flynn eventually complied on July 18, 26 days after the court order – leaving him 16 days in contempt of court.
Allsberry had brought a fourth motion of contempt against Flynn, asserting his conduct prevented hiring of staff at the Circuit Clerk’s Office and that Flynn had falsely blamed her for the failure to schedule jury trials.
Beetem denied Allsberry’s fourth motion.
However, Beetem ruled the issue of hiring was a moot point, due to the fact the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, ruled last May Flynn did indeed have “appointing authority” over the clerks at the Lincoln County Justice Center.
That case is still under appeal with the Missouri Supreme Court.
Because Flynn had that authority, according to Beetem, the failure to hire staff rested with Flynn, not with Allsberry, and by directing Allsberry not to mail qualification questionnaires, the first part of the two-part jury selection process, Flynn prevented the “subsequent summonsing of a qualified venire for trial.”
Beetem also ruled any comments he might have uttered as a speaker at the Lincoln County Bar Association did not interfere with Allsberry’s duties as Circuit Clerk, whether they were true or false.
Not long after both took office in January of 2019, Flynn stripped Allsberry of her power to hire and fire employees, as well as submit a budget. Flynn suspended her on May 28, 2019, and had her escorted from the building by Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies.
Allsberry was defeated in last August’s primary by Flynn’s former secretary, Kathy Hall.
Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles.