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Barbara Carpenter – Professional Performance over Political Difference

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Barb Carpenter sported a rare professional integrity throughout her career of a court clerk that would make any in the profession proud. After 30 years of service as a court clerk in the Douglas County, Barb Carpenter retired on Friday from the office of the chief deputy clerk of Douglas County District Court.

She joined office in 1981 under former Democrat Rudy Tesar. In 2006, she ran for Tesar's position but lost in a primary against Republican, John Friend, an Omaha police captain.


At the time, she told the media that she did not expect to stay in office after losing the primary, knowing it was a Republican who would be joining office and would have the discretion to appoint his own chief deputy. But fate had other plans. Though the new boss was a Republican, he knew the worth of Barbara and decided that she would be the best candidate to be his chief deputy clerk.

Barbara told the media, “I was packed and ready to go, and then John Friend asked if I would be interested in staying. I am glad I stayed. He's been good to work for, even though he is a Republican.”

On his part, Friend said on Friday that he had no regrets with his decision over Barbara, despite their political differences. He openly admired Barbara Carpenter's knowledge of the court system and ability to lead the office staff. Friend said, “Her reputation preceded her in regards to her character, loyalty and professionalism.”

Working under John Friend, Barbara helped the adoption of a statewide online docketing system by the Douglas County. Friend told the media that “It was a massive endeavor and it took five years … Her knowledge was invaluable as we were looking at potential pitfalls.”

Barbara said that she and her staff always tried to offer the best service to the lawyers and members of the public. “One of my biggest joys was helping people who needed help,” she added.

Now 64, Barbara Carpenter would be devoting time to her commercial real estate leasing company based in Scottsbluff. Her current salary is approximately, $100,000 a year and she would be receiving a monthly pension of about $4,700.

John Friend has appointed Jane Alexander, a retired civilian employee from the Omaha Police Department as the new chief deputy district clerk of Douglas County.

Barbara Carpenter was one of the most popular faces in the Douglas County Courthouse and lives in Elkhorn area of Douglas County, where she plans to continue living.


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