Circuit Clerk of Cole County Resigns after State Auditor\'s Report

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COLE COUNTY - Mrs. Brenda Umstattd has submitted her resignation as Circuit Clerk of Cole County after State Auditor Tom Schweich released the audit of the county's circuit court civil and criminal divisions Wednesday. The overall performance of the entity was poor.

Presiding Judge Patricia S. Joyce will act as the appointing authority for the Circuit Court until Governor Nixon names a successor.

At least $14,669 was received by the circuit court criminal division, but not deposited. In December of 2011, a court clerk and court clerk supervisor were both charged with one count each of felony stealing.

Monies from 28 different manual receipts were not deposited, which includes monies from cash bonds and parking ticket payments. According to a news release from Schweich's office, Umstattd "failed to implement recommendations previously made by the court administrator, the office of the state courts administrator, and the presiding judge. Many of the weaknesses identified likely contributed to the missappropriation of funds."

Over the next several months, the office of the State's Court Administration will be training all clerks. The office will address all areas of concern Cole County citizens have. Schweich will then conduct another follow-up review. Schweich said that's in an effort to reassure the people of Cole County that tax money is being held responsibly.

To view the complete audit report of Citizens Summary, click here.