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The Lake News Online
  • Highway Patrol will investigate alleged courthouse assault

  • An investigation into an alleged physical altercation at the Morgan County Courthouse between an elected official and a county employee last week will be turned over to the Missouri Highway Patrol.
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  • An investigation into an alleged physical altercation at the Morgan County Courthouse between an elected official and a county employee last week will be turned over to the Missouri Highway Patrol.
    County Treasurer Louella Pryor called 911 around noon March 5 during a confrontation in which she alleges she was body-shoved into a door by a courthouse employee who works in another department.
    An officer with the Versailles Police Department responded to the scene, but a police report has not been completed by the VPD as the department has decided to hand the case off to another law enforcement agency due to conflict of interest, said VPD Chief Chad Hartman. The Highway Patrol is taking over the case as the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office also has a conflict of interest.
    As of Monday morning, not all parties had made official statements yet, according to Hartman.
    It is not clear whether any charges will ultimately be filed or not.
    The alleged incident reportedly occurred after Pryor had gone to meet with commissioners and a verbal disagreement between herself and another elected official.
    Pryor claims the incident was partly a build-up of hard feelings that can be traced back to her lawsuit against the county for back pay.
    Pryor's suit was successful and she was awarded over $93,600 by Circuit Court Judge Ralph Jaynes, but she ended up settling for the lesser amount of $58,000 after commissioners' voted two to one to appeal the judge's decision. The disposition of the suit was finalized in late fall 2013.
    During the lawsuit, Pryor said she was being subjected to a hostile work environment by some at the courthouse over the conflict.
    Since the settlement, relations between Pryor and the employee in question have continued to be problematic, according to Pryor, who has taken grievances over the issue to the employee's supervisors.
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