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BREAKING NEWS: Judgment In Adair Circuit Clerk Firing Case Gall vs Steele

Court en banc Judges

Click the following link to read the full Judgement:

A judgement has been entered in the case brought against Second Circuit Presiding Judge Russell E. Steele.

The case was filed in March of 2015 in Adair County by former Adair Deputy Circuit Clerk Susan Gall after Gall was fired by Judge Steele against the wishes of the Adair County Circuit Clerk Linda Decker.

The dismissal began a legal battle between the court and supporters of the former Deputy Circuit Clerk.

Basically each side argued over who had the authority to hire and fire in the Adair County Circuit Clerk’s Office. Is it the sole responsibility of the Circuit Clerk, an elected official? Can a Judge step in and fire employees under the Circuit Clerk?

The case was transferred to the Boone County Circuit Court on a change of venue in June of 2015.

On Wednesday, January 13, 2016 a decision was handed down by Judge Gary Oxenhandler who presided over the lawsuit. Judge Oxenhandler found that Linda Decker “is vested with the sole appointing authority of her clerks.”

According to the judgement, neither Judge Steele nor Adair County Associate Judge Kristie Swaim has authority over the appointing authority of the Circuit Clerk. The courts cannot usurp the appointing authority of an elected Circuit Clerk.

Gall also has a lawsuit filed against Judge Steele in US Federal Court. Now that there is a decision in this case the Federal case can move forward.

This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available.