Controversy continues at Osceola County Clerk's Office

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. —

Former Osceola County Clerk of Court Malcom Thompson is now is suing the office, an action stemming from fees incurred during a legal battle in which he was accused of battery and assault.

In 2012, Thompson lost his bid for re-election to Armando Ramirez.

Prior to losing the re-election bid, Thompson was found not guilty after one employee accused him of battery and another accused him of assault.

 Now he's suing Ramirez and wants to be reimbursed $55,000 for legal fees.

In the eight-page filing, Thompson's lawyers argue that Florida Common Law provides for repayment of legal fees should elected officials have to defend themselves from criminal charges related to the office, an argument that could force the clerk's office to pay Thompson and his attorney.

The lawsuit comes as Ramirez is in the midst of yet another staff shakeup.

In February, Ramirez fired Beau Osborne, his second in command. Last night, Ramirez terminated Human Resources Director Marta Santiago.

In a written statement, the clerk said it was "in the best interest of the clerk's office and employees."

Santiago's husband told Channel 9 that he and his wife have no idea why she was fired. He said she was offered no explanation or severance package, just told that her services to the clerk's office were no longer needed.