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LINCOLN COUNTY — The Missouri Supreme Court on Friday gave a Lincoln County judge until noon Wednesday to respond to a suit filed by the elected circuit clerk who said she was illegally removed from office.

Presiding Circuit Judge Patrick Flynn on May 28 appeared in Circuit Clerk Karla Allsberry's office, accompanied by at least two uniformed, armed sheriff's deputies and ordered her to leave her office, Allsberry's suit says. He also banned her from the courthouse.

Flynn then announced that he'd appointed a temporary circuit clerk “due to the indefinite unavailability of Karla Kerpash Allsberry.”

Allsberry has now asked the Missouri Supreme Court to reinstate her. 

It is Allsberry's second trip to the court. A May 31 filing was rejected, as was a June 5 filing with the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District.

Flynn and Allsberry have been in a dispute since January, when she took office.

Flynn and two other judges voted in January to strip Allsberry of her authority to hire and fire staff and submit a budget. She lost an appeal to a state committee, then filed suit May 18 against Flynn and other judges. Allsberry has claimed Flynn was trying to nullify the election.

Flynn's move has sparked criticism and concern from other circuit clerks.