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The Christian County Assessor, who found herself the object of a court motion filed by Missouri's Attorney General, has been temporarily removed from office.

Judge Robert Craig Carter signed the quo warranto petition submitted Friday by Attorney General Chris Koster to remove Sandra Bryant-Littles from her elected office.

Bryant-Littles faces four counts of mail fraud in federal court and had refused to step down from her elected position since being indicted last October.

Federal prosecutors allege that Bryant-Littles, who lives in Clever with her husband Lonnie Utah Littles, failed to properly assess her own property and that of Poco Cala Ranch that the couple owned.

Lonnie Littles has problems of his own in federal court, he and a ranch hand of his, Jesse D. Rice, were indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Rice pleaded guilty to those charges last month and is awaiting sentencing.

The Littles have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and are scheduled for trial next month.

The judge gave Bryant-Littles 10 days to respond to the court order, and at that time a hearing will be held and she could be removed from office at that time.

For now Bryant-Littles is “immediately enjoined from engaging in any activity, or exercising any authority, as the County Assessor.”

If Bryant-Littles resignes or is permanetly removed from office, Gov. Jay Nixon will appoint a successor, who would serve out the rest of her term.

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