The Valdosta Daily Times
It was standing room only Thursday afternoon for the swearing in of the Lowndes County sheriff, the Solicitor General, administrative officials and judges, 11 in all.
Judge Richard M. Cowart opened the ceremony announcing that it was “a joyful and happy occasion, and we don’t have many of those in this courtroom.”
Sheriff Chris Prine was the first up, taking his oath of office as well as an oath of loyalty to Lowndes County with Judge Jim Tunison conducting the oaths. He raised his right hand and placed his hand on a Bible held by his granddaughters Sammye and Maggie Jo Hamilton, whom he kissed when the ceremony was over.
Also standing with him were his wife Carol, their daughter and son-in-law, Christy and Herb Hamilton, and his nephew, Jim Prine. The audience bowed their heads during a prayer for the Sheriff before moving on to the next in line.
Tax Assessor Doyle Kelly took his oaths with his wife Gloria, while Tax Assessors W.G. Walker, Jr. and Mike Hill took theirs standing alone. Walker took his oaths without placing his hand on the Bible, and Hill closed his eyes while taking his.
Retired Superior Court Judge H. Arthur McLane returned to deliver the oaths for the rest of those in line. Probate Court Judge Terri Adams took her oath standing with her fiancee Van McDowell, and Magistrates Joni D. Parker and Elizabeth C. Cleveland followed.
Parker took her oath with her husband David and their daughter Holli, and then held the Bible for Cleveland’s oaths.
State Court Judge John K. Edwards Jr. took his oaths next, with his father, Circuit Public Defender John K. Edwards Sr. holding the Bible for him.
Solicitor General Justin Cabral took his oaths by his birth name Justos Cabral, III, standing beside his wife Christine, and Tax Commissioner Mary Nell Robertson took her oaths with her granddaughter Lakin Robertson.
New Superior Court Clerk Beth Copeland Green stood with brother Glenn Copeland, husband Danny Ray, sons Tyler and Adam, and two nephews.
Green “feels really good” about taking her oath and getting started in the office following retiring 50-year Superior Court Clerk Sara Crow, she said.
“I’m ready to go to work,” Green said. “I have some big shoes to fill. I’ve been working for 21 years, and she has taught me well. I’m going to take it one day at a time and just do my best.”