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District Attorney says court clerk did nothing wrong when performing “special favor” for employee

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NEWKIRK, Okla. – The Kay County District Attorney says his court clerk did nothing wrong when performing an admitted “special favor” for one of her employees.

Marilee Thornton opened the county courthouse on a Sunday to marry her deputy clerk – something she acknowledges she will not do for ordinary citizens and something she says she would do again for another of her employees “in a heartbeat.”

The Kay County Court Clerk’s Office grants marriage licenses during its normal business hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The clerk says she has no plans to open the courthouse to the general public on weekends for marriages, because she said she already spends two Saturdays a month catching up on work that didn’t get taken care of during the week, and her deputy clerks need time off.

But, although Thornton said she would not want to open the courthouse for marriages on weekends, she said she would open it again for an employee.

When the Kay County Commissioner heard about the marriage ceremony, he turned the information over to the district attorney to further investigate whether Thornton had done anything illegal.

District Attorney Brian Hermanson tells NewsChannel 4 that no violations occurred when the Sunday marriage ceremony was performed.

“It’s not a big deal,” he said. “It’s a small town. It’s Newkirk, Okla. There are a lot of things that upon request we open the courthouse for.”

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