Local News

Groomes Secures Bond, Will Keep Her Job

May 23, 2011

One hundred forty days into her term, Charlene Groomes legally became the Okanogan County Clerk.

Superior Court Judge Jack Burchard gave his approval Friday afternoon, after reviewing the private bond put up by Larry and Diane Campbell of Okanogan.

Groomes found out in March that five insurance companies had declined to cover her for the $150,000 bond, required under state law in case of a negligent or fraudulent misappropriation in the Superior Court Clerk's Office.

Nan Kallunki, Administrative Services Director for Okanogan County said she was notified at the end of February by the county's insurance broker that they had "exhausted all avenues," and could not obtain a bond for Groomes.

Burchard warned Groomes late last month that she could lose her position unless she could provide the bond required by law.

On Friday Burchard said, "I'm happy that this unfortunate situation has been resolved and that the Clerk elected by the people can continue in her position." He said, "I look forward to working with Charlene in an effort to make our services are more transparent, efficient and user-friendly."

In his letter approving the bond, Burchard noted that "because this is a private bond, I have approved it for one year only with the requirement that it be renewed or replaced prior to May 20, 2012."

In an affidavit filed with her bond, Groomes stated that she would work towards clearing up her credit rating status in an "earnest effort to be bondable in the future by the corporate surety issuing other County Official's bonds."

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