Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock appointed a new county clerk Friday to replace Becky Blevins, who resigned in the wake of a criminal case against her.
Blevins submitted notice of her immediate retirement earlier in the day. She had nine months left on her second term as clerk after serving as deputy beginning in 1984.
Brock appointed Rob Lincks, who had been the deputy judge-executive. Brock said Lincks will serve the remainder of the year, when a new clerk chosen by voters in November will take over.
Blevins was charged last year with abuse of public trust and possession of a forged vehicle title after an investigation found dozens of alleged cases in which her office did not give people tax refunds they were due on vehicle purchases.
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Blevins denied wrongdoing.
The special prosecutor in the case made a deal to drop the charges against her, with Blevins agreeing not to seek re-election.
Brock said the clerk's office had been in some disarray under Blevins in recent months. The main office in Pineville was not open some days, and Blevins had closed the Middlesboro branch altogether, he said.
Lincks said he wants to reopen the Middlesboro branch when he resolves some staffing issues.