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Special prosecutor appointed in Cirtin case

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Greene County Circuit Court Judge Michael Cordonnier appointed the special prosecutor who will determine the fate of Presiding Commissioner Bob Cirtin’s position with the county.

Christian County Prosecuting Attorney Amy Fite is the appointee, according to court documents filed April 13. In February, resident Linda Simkins filed an affidavit with the Greene County clerk and prosecutor asking for Cirtin’s removal from office.

The appointment was made after Cordonnier moved to appoint a special prosecutor earlier on April 13.

Cordonnier also granted a request by Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson to organize a grand jury that would be sworn in on May 11.

“Once empaneled and charged, the grand jury will be available to the special prosecutor, to the extent she determines necessary, to aid in the investigation and evaluation of the issues joined by the affidavit,” the court documents, signed by Cordonnier, read.

Cordonnier selected a special prosecutor after disqualifying Patterson and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. Court documents indicate Patterson referred the case to Hawley’s office, but the court did not find proper authority for that decision.

Simkins is a retired litigation paralegal who has said she has no backing or political influence and is challenging the county as a concerned citizen. She alleges Cirtin forced county employees to spend work time promoting the Invest in Greene County Political Action Committee. The PAC worked to gain voter approval of the county’s new half-cent general revenue sales tax.

The affidavit cites whistleblower documents sent to Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway’s office from former county Communications and Public Engagement Director Trysta Herzog.

Cirtin and his attorney have not returned a request for comment.

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