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Texas Court Clerk Abused Her Office

McKINNEY, Texas (CN) - The former Collin County District Clerk and two of her employees were convicted of abuse of office: doing campaign work on county time for the clerk's 2010 re-election.

District Clerk Patricia Wyson Crigger and her employee Rebecca Littrell were convicted of abuse of official capacity and conspiracy to commit abuse of official capacity, according to the McKinney Courier-Gazette.

Sherry Bell was convicted of conspiracy to commit abuse of official capacity.

Former District Clerk Hannah Kunkle was acquitted on both charges.

After sentencing, visiting District Judge John Nelms relieved Crigger of her duties, as felons are barred from holding public office in Texas.

Judy Blazier was promoted to interim district clerk and immediately fired Littrell and Bell, according to The Associated Press.

Crigger and Littrell were sentenced to 4 years of probation, Bell to 2 years of probation.

"We are devastated," said Littrell's attorney Eric Walpole.

The Courier-Gazette reported that Judge Nelms warned the crowd there would be no outbursts when the verdicts were read. The courtroom, which has 110 seats, was filled to near capacity for the verdicts.

Several people were weeping as they left the courtroom.

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