Drew County’s chief deputy circuit clerk Sandra Erlanson was sworn in as circuit clerk Tuesday after former clerk Pat Savage Montgomery said she would not be sworn in for another term.
“I’ve dreaded doing this but after soul searching I will not be sworn in as circuit clerk tomorrow,” Montgomery wrote on her Facebook page Monday. “It is not something I do not want to do but I feel I must do. My job has been a highlight in my life and I was honored to serve as circuit clerk. I’m proud of the way my office operated but I must move on and let the office move forward. I ask for continued prayers.”
Following the New Year’s Day oath of office ceremony, the Drew County Quorum Court declared the circuit clerk position vacant and appointed Erlanson to serve the 2-year term. She was sworn into office after the quorum court meeting.
Montgomery ran unopposed for reelection to another 2-year term but in September took a leave of absence.
In October, following a state audit, 10th Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen charged Montgomery with theft of property, a Class C felony, and abuse of office and falsifying business records.
In a comment on Seark Today after the the story broke, Montgomery said she had not been notified of the charges.
“I have worked with the auditors and turned over numerous receipts that were not considered,” she wrote.”I have passed all previous audits under at least 5 auditors. I am the circuit clerk and will take care of all issues. The problems are in the Recorders Cost Fund and not county general money. It has been an honor being the Circuit Clerk and working for the people of Drew County. I am proud of the progress that the office has made. I have received $55,000 in grants for updating the records. I apologize for any embarrassment and assure the people that I will correct any errors.”