County officers line up to kick off new term

Published 11:45 am Thursday, December 29, 2011

Eighteen Warren County officials took the oath of office this morning for the 2012-16 term that begins Monday.

Raising their right hands in unison as they formed a semi-circle around Chancellor Vicki Roach Barnes’ bench were four incumbent supervisors and one newcomer.

District 1 Supervisor John Arnold, who defeated David McDonald, stood with Richard George, Bill Lauderdale, Charles Selmon and William Banks.

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Sworn into countywide posts were Chancery Clerk Donna Farris Hardy, who succeeds retiring incumbent Dot McGee, and Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree, who begins a third term. Also sworn in were Sheriff Martin Pace, Tax Collector Antonia Flaggs-Jones, Tax Assessor Angela Brown, Coroner Doug Huskey, Deputy Coroners Kelda Bailess and Ron Regan, County Prosecutor Richard Johnson, Southern District Justice Court Judge Jeff Crevitt and constables Glenn McKay, John Heggins and Randy Naylor.

District Attorney Ricky Smith was to take the oath of office for a second term from Circuit Court Judge Isadore Patrick at a separate ceremony later today. Central District Justice Court Judge James Jefferson, elected in 2010, took the oath for his full term from Patrick in the judge’s office this morning. Eddie Woods, judge for the northern district, was expected to be sworn in today, said McGee, who was in charge of bond documents as each officeholder signed them.

Monday is a state and county government holiday for New Year’s Day, which prompted the earlier inauguration. The practice makes their positions official before the new year, placing them on the state payroll before the long weekend. Swearing-in ceremonies most often are held before the start of a term so bonds may be purchased from private bonding companies, said Deputy State Auditor Patrick Dendy.

“A lot of officials just go ahead and have it done beforehand,” Dendy said during a telephone interview Tuesday.

Officers of the Board of Supervisors, such as president and vice-president, are expected to be determined when the board meets Tuesday.

George and Lauderdale begin their fifth and sixth nonconsecutive terms, respectively. Selmon starts his fourth and Banks, his second full term, after being elected in a special election in 2005.

Brown moves up from deputy tax assessor to succeed the retiring Richard Holland. Flaggs-Jones begins her first full term, having been elected in a special election in 2009. Pace, first elected in a special election in 1996, starts a fourth full term.

Huskey, elected in a special election in 2006, begins his second full term. Johnson and Woods starts their third terms. Naylor starts his second term. Crevitt, elected in 2009, begins his first full term. McKay and Heggins were first elected in 1983.