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County officials take oaths of office

January 3, 2012

The Honorable John B. Leete (left), the senior judge of Potter County, administers the oath of office to the Honorable John Henry Foradora (far right), while his son, James Henry (center), holds the Bible. (Photo by Natalie Bruzda/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

BROOKVILLE — The swearing-in ceremony for Jefferson County elected officials took place Tuesday in the large room of the Jefferson County Courthouse.

Bob Sisk, Tipstaff, opened court, and chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Elections Jim “Moon” VanSteenberg introduced the Honorable John B. Leete, the senior judge of Potter County, who administered the oath of office to the Honorable John Henry Foradora.

“My parents were first here when I wore this robe, and I’m happy to have my son here today,” Foradora said. “I think presiding over the law here in Jefferson County for 10 years is a very long time. And I was thinking of some of the attorneys who have left this courtroom ... Some people have moved, some people have come, but the law continues on, it continues to serve justice. It has been an honor to do this for the last 10 years, and it will be an honor to do it, God-willing, for the rest of my 10-year term.”

Foradora reminded everyone in attendance that the last four years have been more difficult than most in the history of the Jefferson County Courthouse.

Four years ago, the courthouse wall was close to falling into the street, and the ceiling was threatening to cave in, Foradora said. Since 1927, no internal improvements had been made.

Courthouse staff had to be relocated to a warehouse for renovations, but Foradora said it was well worth it.

“We had to leave this building after more than 100 years ... but it definitely showed that once everyone got back into this building and it was preserved for history that sometimes maybe an unpopular judgment is the right judgment,” he said.

The ceremony ended after Foradora administered the oath of office to all others present, including District Judge Douglas Chambers; District Judge Gregory Bazylak; Jefferson County Commissioners Paul Corbin, Jim McIntyre and Jeff Pisarcik; Sheriff Carl Gotwald; and county auditors Roger Richards, Maxine Zimmerman and Brenda Scarantine.

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