Officials sworn in at ceremony

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 19, 2002

VIDALIA, La. &045; For many of the candidates sworn in at the Concordia Parish Courthouse Thursday, this fall’s election season was an easy one.

Seventh Judicial District Judge Leo Boothe faced no opposition for his Division B seat.

District Attorney John Johnson’s race was similarly short. Like Boothe, Johnson was the only candidate to qualify.

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But Judge Kathy Johnson had to work to hold onto the Division A judgeship.

Way back in April, Assistant District Attorney Madaline Gibbs began her campaign to unseat Johnson.

The next month, Gibbs’ fellow prosecutor, William Yarbrough, threw his hat in the ring.

In June, a third assistant district attorney, John Reeves, joined the melee.

Reeves and Yarbrough were out of the race after the Oct. 5 primary, but Gibbs got enough votes to force a runoff.

Four mudslinging weeks later, Johnson came out ahead of Gibbs by about 1,000 votes.

After taking the oath of office Thursday, Johnson said she was happy to get back to meting out justice and working on some of the projects she had begun during her previous 6-year term.

On the top of her list is establishing a drug court, a combination of probation and treatment for non-violent drug users.

In the past, Johnson has been unable to obtain funding for the program, but she said she sees some hope in Adams County’s nascent drug court.

&uot;I hope that will help us,&uot; she said. &uot;I may try to piggyback on it.&uot;

Johnson said that while there is no precedent for interstate agreements for drug treatment, she thinks it could be possible to use Adams County treatment facilities.

Johnson also mentioned a mentoring program for first-time juvenile offenders and her continuing participation in efforts to build a multi-parish juvenile detention center in Olla.

But for the remainder of the holiday season, Johnson said her only plans involved rest.

&uot;I really want to relax and spend some time with my family,&uot; she said.

Also sworn in Thursday were:

4District 1 Justice of the Peace Justin Conner.

4District 3 Justice of the Peace Gary Nations.

4District 4 Justice of the Peace Jerry Stallings.

4District 5 Justice of the Peace Charlie White.

4District 1 Constable Rose Elaine.

4District 2 Constable Rickey Hollins.

4District 3 Constable Curtis Nelson.