Elbert County clerk, election judge resign

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As if scrambling to find a new emergency manager wasn’t enough to keep the Elbert County busy, the Board of County Commissions now must find a new county clerk and recorder, as well a certified election manager.

In a June 26 letter to District 1 Commissioner Robert Rowland, Elbert County Clerk and Recorder Diana Hartsough tendered her resignation, effective July 5.

In that letter, Hartsough cites that county’s only certified election manager, Blake Hepburn, tendered his resignation to her, stating that he would not be returning from medical leave.

District 2 Commissioner Kurt Schlegel said Hartsough’s resignation was tendered to the BOCC at 4;15 p.m., Wednesday, June 26 and came without warning.

“There’s been always been a constant source of discourse with her since her election in 2011 and that seems to have carried over to the current board of County Commissioners,” Schlegel stated.

While he acknowledged Hartsough’s resignation puts the county in a pinch, he said “it’s probably the best thing that could have happened and now we can get in there and fix what’s wrong and deliver the best customer service possible to our taxpayers.”

Schlegel said Hartsough had violated county policy by closing the county’s Department of Motor Vehicles on days the office should have been open.

The county does have a deputy clerk and recorder, Mandy Taylor, but in Hartsough’s resignation letter, she indicates she approved vacation time for Taylor commencing June 27.

Until Taylor returns from her 30-day vacation, Schlegel said Hartsough appointed Sheryl Caldwell as acting deputy clerk and recorder.

Schlegel went on to explain the BOCC has slated the issue for an upcoming study session and the goal is to now look at appointing a qualified candidate to fill Hartsough’s term, which ends in Jan. 1, 2015.

Hartsough’s position will be up for grabs during the Nov. 2014 election.

“We’ve already reached out to Secretary of State Scott Gessler who has already offered his help,” Schlegel said. “We are fortunate this is an off year for elections—although every election is important—we want to make sure we conduct them correctly and accurately.”

Diana Hartsough had agreed to meet with Colorado Community Media July 3 to discuss her resignation, but left a only a voice mail stating she “would have to cancel” and the “she was done with it all” and wanted “to get on with my life.”

A second offer by CMM for Hartsough to respond went unanswered.