Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed Marilue Hemmel, of Centertown, as the new circuit clerk for Cole County. The position became vacant upon the resignation of former circuit clerk Brenda Umstattd.
Umstattd resigned shortly after two assistant clerks were indicted for stealing. State Auditor Tom Schweich released an audit that revealed missing money; the audit was requested by Judge Pat Joyce.
Authorities continue to investigate the misappropriation of funds, faulty bookkeeping and missing money.
Hemmel, a Democrat, has served as the Court Administrator for the Cole County Circuit Court since 2004. Prior to that, she served in the Circuit Clerk’s office for nine years in positions of progressively greater responsibility, including chief deputy clerk. Hemmel has served as a regional officer for the Missouri Professional Association for Court Clerks, in addition to her membership in several other organizations for court professionals.
“The position of circuit clerk is one of great responsibility for the efficient administration of our circuit courts,” Nixon said in a press release. “Marilue Hemmel has shown her capability within the courts for many years. I am confident she will serve the people of Cole County capably in her new position.”
In a separate press release, Hemmel thanks Nixon “for his trust and confidence in me and I am honored for the opportunity to serve as interim Circuit Clerk of Cole County.”
She says she accepts the appointment “with the commitment of serving the citizens of Cole County to the best of my ability. There are many challenges ahead and with my years of experience in working in the court and I am beyond doubt ready to begin making positive steps forward in restoring the integrity of the office, providing administrative duties to the judges, and will be dedicated in demanding transparency and accountability. I believe my knowledge, drive and commitment to Cole County will serve well, I, therefore, without reservation am sincerely ready in a truly unique opportunity and look forward to serving the citizens of Cole County as their Circuit Clerk.”