The appointment by former Gov. Mike Easley on his last day in office of two Raleigh lawyers to the Superior Court bench resulted in some unusual last-minute wrangling to get the incoming judges sworn in late Friday night.
Shannon Joseph and Bill R. Pittman took their oaths at 11 p.m. Friday night in a Wake County courtroom, in front of a crowd of more than 50 that gathered last-minute to watch the proceedings, Sarah Ovaska reports.
Joseph and Pittman’s appointments to special superior court bench will be good for the next five years. They’ll both have offices in the Wake County courthouse, but will preside over cases all over the state, depending on where they are needed.
Joseph, an administrative law judge for the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings, had been tied up in High Point that afternoon in a hearing and couldn’t make it back to Raleigh until after the end of the business day.
Wake Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens, who administered the oaths, was on his way to the ball held that evening for Beverly Perdue, who took office the next morning, when he was asked to administer judicial oaths to Pittman and Joseph before Perdue became governor the next day.
The 11 p.m. slot Friday night seemed to be the time everyone could make, Stephens said. It was open to the public, he said, but acknowledged that it'd be hard for the public to know about the ceremony.
More after the jump.