Wirtschafter sworn in as new Yuba County judge
As he pulled on his judicial robe for the first time Friday, newly-elected Yuba County Judge Benjamin Wirtschafter promised, with a characteristic smile, to take his new job and responsibilities seriously, without taking himself too seriously.
Wirtschafter, 48, said he was honored to serve on the Superior Court bench, particularly in Marysville, which has been his home for more than 17 years.
"This has always been a very special place for me," Wirtschafter said.
Retired Judge James F. Dawson swore in Wirtschafter on Friday afternoon in front of a crowded courtroom, packed with more than 100 people.
Wirtschafter was particularly happy to have Dawson conduct the ceremony, he said, because Dawson was also the judge who presided over Wirtschafter's wedding.
Judge Debra L. Givens, Yuba County's presiding judge, opened the ceremony.
Wirtschafter's wife, Colette, and their three children were also present, along with many from their extended family.
About a dozen visiting judges were also on hand, along with many elected officials from Marysville and Yuba County.
Wirtschafter was elected in June, beating Yuba City attorney Courtney McAlister and Sacramento attorney Julius Engel by wide margins, avoiding a runoff in November.
The former public defender picked up several key endorsements during the spring campaign, including the backing of Judge Dennis Buckley, whose retirement cleared the way for Wirtschafter's election to the bench.
Wirtschafter will preside over the court's civil law cases.
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