MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

June 21, 2012

Electronic filing on list for Sexton

The incumbent county clerk is working on statewide system

Implementing a statewide electronic filing system and having the ability to accept credit card payments by phone top the Muskogee County court clerk’s campaign agenda.

Paula Sexton is one of  11 court clerks across the state involved with the creation of the e-filing system. Once the system is operational, Sexton said, it will mark the first time all 77 court clerks will operate on one system.

“This system has been a critical part of our three-year ... effort to build this system from the ground up,” Sexton said. “The versatility and ability of this system ... will help our office in obtaining information for the public and will assist all attorneys by allowing e-filing and limiting lost time by out-of-town attorneys in travel for filing of documents.”

The incumbent said her office has been working for about a year cleaning up cases filed in the old system to ease the transition to the new system.

Sexton has served Muskogee County as its court clerk since she won a special election in 2002. Sexton is being challenged this year by Eugene Blankenship, the first opponent she has drawn since her first election. Because no Republicans filed, the contest will be decided Tuesday.

In addition to her involvement with the implementation of the statewide e-filing system, Sexton said the installation of a system that will allow the office to accept payment by phone should be completed within the next two or three months.

This will “allow the public the ability to pay for costs, fines and fees over the phone, saving them travel time to our office,” Sexton said. “This is especially useful to out-of-state customers who owe fines or fees.”

Sexton cited her office’s “continuing diligence” in the collection of fines, fees and costs as a third priority in the upcoming election. The office, Sexton said, is charged with the collection of outstanding costs assessed to help fund 35 agencies.

Sexton said her qualifications for the position makes her the best candidate for the job. She earned her certification through an Oklahoma State University’s program for court clerks and continuing education.

Sexton is a member of the state’s executive board for court clerks and past secretary of the Oklahoma County and Deputies Association. She was appointed by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to a committee in charge of setting up the e-filing system and has 30 years of experience in the legal field.

Sexton and Blankenship will square off Tuesday in the Democratic primary election. Early absentee voting begins Friday.

Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or dsmoot

@muskogeephoenix.com.

Meet Paula Sexton

OFFICE SOUGHT: Muskogee County District Court Clerk.

AGE: 57.        

HOMETOWN: Oklahoma City.

FAMILY: Husband, Sid Sexton; three children, Nicole Sexton Segroves, Sidney Sexton and Mark Sexton; and eight grandchildren.

OCCUPATION: District court clerk.

EDUCATION: Muskogee High School, Northeastern State University, Connors College, Oklahoma State University.

RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Baptist.

HOBBIES: Reading, gardening and taking care of my grandchildren.

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