Members of the 13th Judicial District Court, which is comprised of Delaware and Ottawa Counties, took part in a ceremonial swearing in on Monday, Jan. 14, at the Washington County Courthouse in Bartlesville.
Judge Russell Vaclaw welcomed the guests to the ceremonies, which was followed by an introduction of the incoming judges which included Jennifer Ellis McAffrey, associate district judge for Ottawa County and Dave Crutchfield, associate district judge for Delaware County.
"It was a wonderful ceremony," Crutchfield said. "I am proud and humble to be the new associate district judge for Delaware County. I hope I can measure up to the exemplary job Judge Denney has done in this position."
In addition to McAffrey and Crutchfield, other judges who took the oath of office for Delaware and Ottawa Counties included Special Judge Alicia Littlefield, District Judge Barry Denney, and Special Judge Bill Culver.
Denney, who previously served as an associate judge in Delaware County, said he is "honored and blessed" to serve the people of Ottawa and Delaware counties.
"I believe the court system provides a very valuable public service by peacefully resolving disputes and dispensing justice," Denney said. "I look forward to doing all I can to provide that public service for all litigants."
Littlefield was sworn in for another term on the bench as Delaware's Special Judge.
"It has been an honor to serve the citizens of District 13 for the past 22 plus years," Littlefield said. "I look forward to continuing that service."
Judges were sworn in two separate ceremonies by Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice John Reif. New judges were sworn in first, and those taking on new positions were sworn in last.
“That way we don’t have to do more than 20 different oaths of office,” Vaclaw told the crowd with a laugh.
Kris Dudley and Nathan Thompson with the Delaware County's sister paper the Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise, contributed to this story.