HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The county's chief judge named a temporary replacement Monday for the Dauphin clerk of courts, three days after the elected clerk fired a deputy clerk and she and another top aide abruptly quit before a hearing about mismanagement of the office.

Dauphin County President Judge Scott Evans on Monday morning swore in Patti Sites to run the office until Gov. Josh Shapiro makes a more permanent appointment under state law, an aide in his chambers confirmed.

Sites spent 17 years working in the office before she left the office in January with the arrival of then-newly elected Democratic clerk Bridget Whitley.

Whitley, a lawyer, had a cryptic response and declined to elaborate when reached for comment early Monday.

“My only public comment will be ‘Tennessee,’” Whitley told the AP. “You're a reporter and investigator, you can figure it out.”

Whitley fired her second deputy on Friday afternoon, and both Whitley and her first deputy resigned. The state Supreme Court declared a judicial emergency on Saturday and directed Evans to fill the vacancy. Evans had planned a contempt hearing on Monday over Whitley's supervision of the office, a hearing that was canceled after she resigned.

Pennlive reported that Whitley presided over months of problems in the office, including defendants stranded in jail, bench warrants being improperly served and paperwork errors on case dispositions and sentences.

“While the clerk is an independently elected official, the efficient and effective operation of the office is critical to ensuring that the courts remain accessible,” Chief Justice Debra Todd said in a statement over the weekend, noting a need to ensure that “the essential recordkeeping function” of the office is maintained.

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