Clinton County pens affidavit requesting removal of Clerk Woody

Missouri state rep. candidate David Woody has a two-front fight on his hands after Clinton County Commissioners called for an investigation into Woody’s ability as county clerk. 

The Office of the Missouri Attorney General will make a determination whether to take action on an affidavit to remove Woody from office as Clinton County clerk citing budget concerns dating back to August of 2018.

“We cannot discuss that right now because the Attorney General’s Office and the possible investigation,” Clinton County Commissioner Patrick Clark said. “We’ve been advised by legal counsel that we have no comment. That’s what the attorney told us to say. No comment.”

According to the affidavit filed April 21 by Clinton County Commissioners Clark, Larry King, Gary McCrea, Woody failed to provide a realistic estimate of revenues for the budget process. The affidavit further stated Woody failed to resolve social security payment issues dating back to 2018. Complications related to the county switching from monthly employee payments to bi-weekly further exacerbated ongoing budget concerns. Clinton County Treasurer Rita Terwilleger reported, due to lack of information, she could not balance the February 2020 books. 

Another issue of concern for county employees is late health insurance payments, which the affidavit stated resulted in late fees and threats of collection actions against individual employees. Woody, according to the affidavit, told commissioners he resolved the problem but Sheriff Larry Fish later reported to commissioners as of April 16 the issue was not resolved. Woody, according to a prepared statement submitted to the Citizen-Observer, said many of the issues in the affidavit had in fact been resolved and his office was in the process of resolving those that had not. 

“It’s a shame that I had to go to the newspaper to see a copy of the document trying to initiate the process of removing me from office,” said Woody, who has served as county clerk since 2018. “The majority of these have been taken care of and the rest is ongoing and in the process of being taken care of. It’s unfortunate that my progress is being slowed down because of the good ol’ boy club now trying to set me up for failure, all because I won’t kiss the ring. I didn’t realize that because I don’t tie shoes a certain way, that gives means to remove me from office.”

Woody said the affidavit came about as a response to him seeking state office and was a political smear campaign ahead of the June 2 election - rescheduled from April 7 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the minutes of the April 16 Clinton County Commission meeting, segments redacted in later iterations outlined a confrontation between Woody, County Collector Michele Wells and employee Paula New culminated in a profanity-laced tirade by New.

“To make these kinds of changes, along with working out some of the other quirks, it’s not going to be seamless. I’m not going to brag, and say ‘I’m an expert,’ but I’m the one who had to implement the changes,” Woody said. “I’m not the one who wants to waste taxpayer dollars on lawsuits, [commissioners] love to throw lawsuits on petty, little stuff and big stuff too. Everything is set in motion and if any employees have a problem with their checks they can talk to me. It’s not an issue … They were dead-set on it’s my way or the highway. There isn’t any reasoning with them. I might try to talk to them and they turn it into a shouting match. Now, it seems like they’re taking things personal and they’re trying to smear me out of spite.”

 

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