The Missouri Supreme Court’s Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline is looking into Peebles vacation and the claim that she allowed clerks to carry out her functions. Her clerks reportedly handled a number of her cases while she was in China on vacation for 10 days in October, including issuing orders to dismiss five cases and issuing as many as 18 bench warrants and continuing more than 300. Some individuals were held in jail due to their actions.
What is interesting is that court officials say that there really was no change due to the vacation and that Peebles routinely allows clerks to do her job even when she is present. One clerk is known as “Judge Whitney” because she regularly dismissed cases and issued arrest warrants and continuances. One brave public defender finally objected in a motion that noted “The court clerk denied this motion without a judge present and without allowing defense counsel an opportunity to argue the motion.”