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State Supreme Court chief justice goes undercover

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Some county courthouses in Missouri could soon host visits from the state Supreme Court’s chief justice _ but good luck figuring out the anonymous visitor’s identity.

Chief Justice Mary Rhodes Russell tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she visited circuit courts in Howell, Osage and St. Louis counties during her most recent summer break while wearing casual clothes and tennis shoes in a scenario similar to the television reality show “Undercover Boss.”

Russell spoke with aggrieved plaintiffs, witnesses, jurors and criminal defendants without identifying herself. Only the presiding circuit judges knew of her arrivals in advance.

Russell’s efforts were highlighted by Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, a St. Charles Republican, during his opening remarks at the start of the 2015 Missouri legislative session.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,