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LINCOLN COUNTY — The presiding judge here said in a court filing Friday that he suspended the elected circuit clerk and barred her from the courthouse due to malfeasance in office.

In a filing with the Missouri Supreme Court, lawyers for Presiding Circuit Judge Patrick Flynn said that Circuit Clerk Karla Allsberry "had knowingly and willfully failed to perform certain duties of her office and committed misfeasance and malfeasance."

Flynn said Allsberry failed to turn over $45,000 in municipal fines owed to four cities and established a private email account she used to access the circuit court's bank accounts and communicate with bank staff. She also had all of the court's financial records transferred to that account, the filing says. It also said Allsberry refused to meet with Flynn and had "created a hostile and dysfunctional atmosphere" by being "belligerent" to court staff.

Flynn, accompanied by at least two sheriff's deputies, ordered Allsberry on May 28 to leave her office and announced that he'd appointed a temporary replacement due to her "indefinite unavailability." In a letter, he said she'd created a dysfunctional work environment due to her "failure to operate in fact, truth, protocol and respect." 

Flynn and Allsberry have been feuding since January over who should have the authority to hire and fire clerk's office employees and submit a budget. She lost an appeal of a January vote by Flynn and two other judges to strip her of that power, then filed suit May 18. That suit remains pending. She also sought help in regaining office from the Missouri Supreme Court.

She's accused Flynn of trying to nullify her election.

Allsberry didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment. 

Robert Patrick is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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