Two New Judges Added To Bench
Monday marked the official ushering in of a new year as well as a new decade that will undoubtedly be filled with public service, open communication and a strong relationship with local government officials for Fulton and Franklin County’s two newest additions to the Court of Common Pleas
President Judge Douglas Herman along with fellow judges Richard J. Walsh and Carol Van Horn warmly welcomed Angela Rosenberry Krom and Shawn Meyers to the bench following a brief swearing-in ceremony held at 2 p.m. in the Fulton County Courthouse. The duo were also sworn in earlier in the day at the old Franklin County Courthouse.
Herman publicly thanked a variety of officials for their assistance over the years and for their presence during the January 4 ceremony. In addition to the family and friends of those taking the oath of office, on hand were five members of the Fulton County Bar Association, the Fulton County commissioners and magisterial district judges Devin Horne, Carol Jean Johnson and Wendy Mellott. The district judges were present to help solidify the point of possessing a “unified judicial system.”
According to Herman, the calling card or “hallmark” of what has made the local judicial system strong is based on effective and open communication and a strong working relationship with various officials.
Herman touched on the county commissioners’ hopes of constructing a new judicial complex, which will not come to fruition due to budgetary constraints and the recession. In spite of limitations, the president judge stated other areas have continued to flourish and prosper. Herman cited the creation of of a criminal justice advisory board, ongoing arrangements with the Day Reporting Center and the Franklin County Prison and the use of county Central Court.
Herman went on to say the mission of a judge remains to be timely and impartial in handing out justice and reminded his coworkers that public trust cannot be demanded but earned.
Stanley Kerlin, local attorney and current president of the Fulton County Bar Association, followed up on Herman’s comments with his own speech, sharing the history of Fulton County’s bench and fine judges. Kerlin mentioned a number of judges, including Fulton County’s first judge, Jeremiah S. Black, who later went on to serve in President James Buchanan’s cabinet of advisors.
Kerlin warned the newly sworn-in judges to prepare themselves as approval and praise are not part of the job description. Kerlin also urged the judges to know when to shut down witnesses and attorneys, to use their time wisely and never take themselves too seriously for fear of catching “Black Robe Fever.”
Judge Van Horn, the first female judge to be elected in Fulton and Franklin counties, also took the oath of office on January 4 after having been retained through the election process for an additional 10 years. Other elected officials being sworn in included District Judge Mellott, Prothonotary Patty Suders Fix and jury commissioners Doretta Mellott and Glenn “Pete” Ford.