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Clerk of Cass County Circuit Court denies allegations

Updated: 2013-10-16T02:16:02Z

By BETHANY BASHIOUM

Special to The Star

Cass County Circuit Clerk Amy Bell has filed a response denying allegations from the Missouri attorney general that she failed to properly manage records and funds.

In her response, Bell claims that she is “not guilty of a willful or fraudulent violation” or “willful neglect of the official duty.”

According to court documents filed last month, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster claims Bell failed to pay the circuit court’s bills on time and didn’t file paperwork necessary for an insurance claim regarding funds allegedly stolen by a deputy clerk.

In addition to the criminal charges filed last month by Koster, a civil petition asks the circuit court to permanently remove Bell from office.

Bell stated that she believes employees in her office in conjunction and conspiracy with employees of the circuit court intentionally and willfully caused the accusations to remove her from office and make way for someone else preferred by the circuit court.

The circuit clerk was suspended and placed on administrative leave with pay on Aug. 20 by Cass County Circuit Judge William Collins, after she hired a close friend to oversee several special projects.

Although Bell's friend was paid to do the work, the work was never completed and resulted in the loss of numerous court documents including original judgments, child support letters, exhibits, and in one case, an entire case file, according to Koster.

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