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Two Clay County prosecutors disciplined for online comments

Two assistant Clay County attorneys face disciplinary action after making disparaging comments over Facebook about a jury decision in a sexual assault trial.

Clay County Attorney Brian Melton said Thursday that until the disciplinary action is final, he can’t talk about specific penalties, but he outlined the reasons he took action against Pamela Harris and Jenny Samarzja.

Melton said that several weeks ago he was made aware of comments the lawyers exchanged over Facebook in July after a trial in which Harris was the prosecutor ended in a not guilty verdict.

Melton said Harris posted comments on Facebook to the effect she didn’t think she’d be spending her whole week with “12 idiots.”

Samarzja implied it was not a shining moment for Clay County, according to Melton, and he said she punctuated her comment with, “Wake up people!”

Melton said that when he was alerted about the online comments, he told Harris to remove them and she did.

He said the statements were a violation of the public’s trust, and he apologized on behalf of his office for any offense jurors may have taken.

He said both attorneys are continuing to go about their regular duties.

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