Franklin and Fulton County’s newest judge took her place Friday on the bench with the 39th Judicial District Court of Common Pleas.
The oath of office was administered to Mary Beth Shank by the judicial district’s Judge Angela Krom.
After being sworn in, she donned a black judicial robe with the help of her husband John McPaul. She then took her place on the raised bench with the 39th district’s five other sitting judges in the historic Franklin County Courtroom One.
Courtroom One, located in the historic 1865 Downtown Chambersburg courthouse, was packed with families and well wishers of more than a dozen newly elected or reelected public officials who took the oath of office Friday.
Before Shank was administered the oath, Krom and President Judge Shaun Meyers took the oath, beginning new 10 year terms as 39th District judges. Both won retention elections in November’s general election.
Oath More Than Just a Promise
In her remarks as the ceremony began, Krom talked about the importance of the ceremony, saying the oath was more than just a legal formality.
It is also a promise, she said: A vow by the county’s elected officials to not just uphold the US and Pennsylvania constitutions but also carry out their duties “with fidelity.”
Newly elected Magisterial District Judge Kristin Diller Nicklaus, who defeated incumbent MDJ T.R. Williams in last year’s election, was sworn into office in the same ceremony. She then donned her judicial robe and joined the 39th district’s five other Magisterial Judges in the first row of the jury box.
All three county commissioners — incumbents David Keller and Bob Ziobrowski and newcomer John Flannery — took the oath of office. Keller and Ziobrowski won reelection last year. Flannery defeated long-time incumbent Bob Thomas in last spring’s primary.
Row Officers Take the Oath
Row officers, both those reelected and newly elected, took the oath. Newly elected Sheriff Dane Anthony joined District Attorney Matt Fogal, Clerk of Courts Todd Rock and Prothonotary Timothy S, Sponseller in taking the oath.
Coroner Jeff Conner, Linda Miller (head of Registers and Recorders office) and Controller Harold Wissinger took the oath together.
With commissioners, court and row officers were sworn in, the judges turned their attention to the lone elected municipal official to take the oath of office during the ceremony.
Newly elected Southampton Township Supervisor Randy Brenize was at the courthouse to take the oath. Municipal officials are often sworn in at their municipality’s first board meeting of the year.