GREENVILLE – The second magistrate in the history of Darke County was sworn into office Tuesday morning, to replace the first county magistrate, who held the position for 35 years.
Georganne Huber, of Troy, will have the opportunity to spend the next four weeks learning from the experience of Anne Brumbaugh before the longtime arbiter retires at the end of this month.
Familiar faces from the courthouse, county officials and the new magistrate’s family gathered in the courtroom to witness Huber taking her oath of office. The oath was administered by Darke County Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein, while Huber’s 2-year-old daughter Leah held the Bible, and husband Alan held the daughter.
Hein welcomed the gathering in his courtroom, noting that for most ordinary people, the courtroom is an uncomfortable place.
“It’s nice to have a day like today that can be a day of celebration, not anxiety,” Hein said.
Hein also pointed out that this was the first swearing-in ceremony for a magistrate in Darke County, because the position was created 35 years ago, and it has been held that whole time by the same person.
“We’ve never done this before,” Hein said. “It’s unusual in Darke County to have an oath of office for a magistrate because we’ve only had one magistrate. Forever. Amen.”
The judge offered a few words of praise first for the outgoing magistrate, before welcoming in the new one.
“Day in and day out you professionally managed a docket, often for people who came in on the most difficult days of their lives for the most trying of issues, and you somehow kept your wits about you,” Hein told Brumbaugh. “It’s a docket most people don’t appreciate and probably rarely came up and said, “Hey, thank you for what you did.”
The magistrate’s office handles cases involving domestic relations, such as divorce and dissolution.
“Anne has a big pair of shoes she’s leaving behind. Georganne will grow in to those,” Hein said.
Huber grew up in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, just across the Ohio border near Youngstown. She attended Penn State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts, then she went on to law school at Ohio Northern University.
For the past 10 years, she has worked as an assistant public defender with the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office.
“For the past 10 years I’ve had the priviledge of serving the citizens of Montgomery County, and I look forward to serving the citizens of Darke County,” Huber said after being sworn in.
Huber said that her professional experience has been limited to criminal defense, but she was drawn to this position because she likes public service. She agreed with the judge that she has “some extremely big shoes to fill.”
“I am thrilled to be here,” she said, “Thrilled to have a new change.”
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