Ashcroft sends probable cause statement to prosecutor involving Monroe County clerk

State of Missouri seal

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced Wednesday the findings of an investigation done by his office relating to claims of misconduct involving the county clerk in Monroe County.

After complaints were received and the findings verified, a statement of probable cause was sent to the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office. Clerk La Jeana Peterson allegedly violated election laws by allowing a candidate to file after the 5 p.m. deadline on March 29.

“We want to support the diligence and hard work of our clerks in every way we can,” Ashcroft said in a press release. “But we also have a responsibility to the citizens of Missouri who rely on the clerks and expect them to do their work fairly and according to statute. In this case, we may have a clerk who, for whatever reason, did not follow the law.”

Peterson, who lives in Paris, was appointed as the Monroe County Clerk in July 2021 by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.

As Missouri’s chief election authority, Ashcroft praised the efforts of Missouri’s county clerks and the Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities, headed by association president, Shane Schoeller. 

“The Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities stands for transparency, integrity, and fairness in the administration of elections,” Schoeller said. “We expect each member to conduct all their affairs with those standards as they seek to serve their constituents. We commend Secretary Ashcroft for his diligence in gathering the information and his shared commitment.”

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