Palmertree removed from office by Warren County Board - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Circuit clerk removed for residency violations

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Warren County Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley Palmertree was removed from office by the Board of Supervisors over residency violations. This comes after a nearly two year battle and going to court to try to stay in the post.

Palmertree has been under investigation by the State Auditor's Office for nearly two years.

"She's been misusing, misappropriating and misspending the taxpayers money of the Circuit Clerk's Office," said State Auditor Stacey Pickering after Monday's board action.

The locks were changed following Palmertree's termination. Pickering says after fighting to keep her job for more than a year Palmertree was ousted for living in another county.

"When Miss Palmertree moved into Madison county she signed an affidavit so she could register her kids in the Madison county school district, and the laws are very clear on that. There are definite penalties and repercussions if you falsify an affidavit on school attendance," said Pickering.

The former 10 year county clerk also faces a three count felony indictment alleging that she embezzled more than $700,000.00 in fees from her office. Monday the Warren County Board of Supervisors were presented signed documents proving Palmertree's lives in Madison county.

As of July 20-13 she stated that the was a permanent resident of Canton. The five member board stripped Palmertree of her position for violating the state residency requirements for elected officials. She has held the circuit clerk's post since 2004.

Previous audits led county supervisors and the State Auditor to discrepancies and the discovery of the misused funds. A grand jury two count indictment accuses her of converting funds from one account to her own personal account. She paid her attorney fees through her office and appealed to the state Supreme Court which ruled it improper.

For now even employees of the office are temporarily banned.

"My employees are there today doing cash count, basically closing out the account so that whenever the board appoints a new interim circuit clerk in Warren County there's a fresh start, a clean start," added the State Auditor.

Palmertree did not attend the Board of Supervisors hearing. She goes to trial on the embezzlement indictments in October. 

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