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Arkansas

Barbara Collins named Jefferson County Circuit Clerk in special called meeting

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Jefferson County, Arkansas – After an initial attempt to appoint a successor to now retired Jefferson County Circuit Clerk Lafayette Woods Sr. failed Tuesday, the Quorum Court tried again Thursday and this time they were successful.

Woods last day was Wednesday, and he had recommended Barbara Collins, who is a deputy clerk in the office to replace him and serve the remainder of his term, which ends Dec. 31, 2022.

By acclamation, the Quorum Court went along with the recommendation and after the vote, County Judge Gerald Robinson congratulated Collins.

Circuit Judge Rob Wyatt Jr., will swear Collins in at 8 a.m. Friday.

The Quorum Court was not able to appoint Collins Tuesday because of a provision in the law which requires a notice of a vacancy be published in the newspaper. Robinson said Thursday that the required publication had been taken care of.

In a letter announcing his retirement, Woods said he was doing so “in order to focus more on my personal health and family.”

About Collins, Woods said she had worked for the Circuit Clerk’s Office since 2010 and said she “has the ability to deal effectively with people, good organizational skills and physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.”

Woods also gave his support to current Chief Deputy Circuit Clerk Flora Cook-Bishop running for the position in 2022. Cook-Bishop has worked for the office since 1988 and twice previously was appointed circuit clerk when two different circuit clerks resigned during their term in office.

If Cook-Bishop had been appointed Circuit Clerk, current state law would have prohibited her from running for the office.

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