Former Cass County Clerk Janet Burlingame was defeated for re-election in November but has landed a $45,000-a-year-job as city clerk in Peculiar.
Meanwhile, former Cass County Auditor Ron Johnson has taken a job as deputy county clerk. He, too, lost his re-election bid last year
Burlingame started work last Wednesday. The previous night, city aldermen unanimously appointed her to a three-year term.
Burlingame, a Democrat, had worked in the county clerk’s office for 34 years – 12 years as the elected county clerk. She lost by a thin margin in the November election to Republican challenger Mike Vinck.
“We’ve seen it as an opportunity for 30-plus years of working in the clerk’s office – already familiar with all the processes within and around the region and the state – to utilize her experience,” Peculiar City Administrator Brad Ratliff said.
Burlingame replaces Nick Jacobs, who has been moved to a newly created “project and compliance manager” role. City officials have described it as a promotion for Jacobs. They say the duties dovetail with his experience and interest in public works.
As county clerk, Burlingame made $62,325 a year. Johnson made the same amount as auditor.
Johnson, a Republican, was defeated for re-election in the August primary. The new county clerk, Vinck, hired him as deputy at an annual salary of $44,500. He began work Jan. 2.
As auditor, Johnson helped spark an effort to oust Burlingame as county clerk for nepotism.
Johnson said Burlingame paid her husband and her son through her office. The payments were made from 2003, when she first was sworn in, and continued until the end of 2010. He said Burlingame’s husband was paid $5,577 and her son $1,670 to transport voting equipment for elections.
In light of the accusation, former Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley filed a petition in 2012 to remove Burlingame from office.
A judge denied the petition. The Missouri attorney general’s office also declined to take action, saying the law didn’t allow Burlingame to be ousted for conduct during a previous term.