Adams County elected officials sworn into office

Published 12:02 am Saturday, January 5, 2008

NATCHEZ — Chancery Judge Kennie Middleton called Friday’s swearing in ceremony of all Adams County elected officials a serious and proud occasion.

At the ceremony, officials, both new and old, were sworn in and promised to uphold the duties of their offices to the best of their abilities.

To mark the occasion, newly elected tax collector Peter Burns celebrated his swearing in by bringing in his enormous family Bible to be sworn in on.

Email newsletter signup

Burns said the Bible had not been taken out of the house in nearly 50 years.

“The elected are not kings and queens but servants,” he said to a crowd of camera-toting friends and family in the audience.

First to be sworn in was newly elected District 1 Supervisor Mike Lazarus.

Before the ceremony began Lazarus said he was a bit nervous.

“I’m looking forward to it though,” he said.

Lazarus defeated the 28-year incumbent Sammy Cauthen.

Justice Court Judge Patricia Dunmore was also sworn in for the first time as a public official on Friday.

Dunmore is replacing recently retired Judge Mary Lee Toles.

Toles served as a justice court judge for 25 years.

However, for Dunmore the swearing in ceremony was much more than a formality.

“She (Toles) was my mentor for many years,” she said. “I hold her in the highest possible esteem.”

Dunmore said throughout her years as an attorney Toles always made herself available for help and consultations.

Hopefully all that assistance will payoff. Dunmore said she already has 30-40 cases on her upcoming docket.

“I have a lot of work to get to,” she said.

As the ceremony progressed, some of the officials thanked family members and some got thanks and accolades.

Middleton gave specific thanks to Chancery Clerk Tommy O’Beirne, saying he is one of the county’s most valuable employees.

“He is truly an exemplary public servant,” Middleton.

Chancery Judge George Ward swore in supervisors Henry Watts, Darryl Grennell and S.E. “Spanky” Felter.

Ward said the residents of Adams County made wise choices in continuously reelecting the supervisors.

He especially noted the service of Board President Darryl Grennell.

“He is a solid person,” he said. “He has shown an ability to hold the board together.”