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Parson replaces judge who ruled against administration on abortion clinic closure, pot

Parson replaces judge who ruled against administration on abortion clinic closure, pot

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Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi

Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi, commissioner of the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, center, listens to the opening statement by Assistant Missouri Attorney General John Sauer during the first day of hearings between Planned Parenthood and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, at the Wainwright State Office Building in St. Louis. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

JEFFERSON CITY — An administrative law judge at odds with Gov. Mike Parson’s administration on multiple issues is out after the governor replaced him early this month.

Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi, appointed by former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and confirmed by the Missouri Senate in 2010, was serving an expired term this month when Parson, a Republican, replaced him with an attorney working in the Missouri Department of Revenue. Dandamudi’s term expired in 2016, state records show.

Spencer Bartlett, who had served as general counsel in the revenue department since 2019, is replacing Dandamudi on the panel, according to documents Parson filed with the Missouri secretary of state’s office on June 1.

Bartlett will serve through at least May 2027, according to the document.

Dandamudi’s online profile had been scrubbed from the state website as of Tuesday and his LinkedIn page showed his tenure with the state of Missouri ending this June.

In May 2020, Dandamudi ruled against Parson’s Department of Health and Senior Services in its bid to pull the abortion permit from the state’s only abortion clinic, Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.

Dandamudi ruled in February that the state must pay Planned Parenthood $140,000 in legal fees associated with the case.

He also ruled then the state must award medical marijuana cultivation permits to two applicants the state rejected. The state said it would appeal the ruling.

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