Taking the oath: County officials sworn in at ceremony

Four county officials pledge to support, obey, and defend the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Oklahoma. Special Judge Jack McCurdy swore-in Court Clerk Marie Hirst, District 2 Commissioner David Anderson, County Clerk Sherry Murray, and Sheriff Chris West on Tuesday morning in the Canadian County Judicial Building.

In the crowded court room family and friends gathered to watch the official swearing-in ceremony of the officers.

Each county official stood before the judge and swore to faithfully discharge duties as Canadian County officers to the best of their abilities.

The officers also each swore to not knowingly receive directly or indirectly any money or other valuable thing for the performance or nonperformance of any act or duty pertaining to their office other than the compensation allowed by law.

Anderson said the ceremony was a great reminder of the importance of his work.

“In that moment standing before the judge the seriousness of what I was doing kind of hit me,” he said. “I appreciate that and I enjoy being involved in something important.”

Anderson and Sheriff Chris West both said finding a way to solve the out of county jail population is one of the biggest hurdles for the county. West, who previously served as undersheriff, said the challenge was the main reason he brought in a new jail administrator.

Anderson and Court Clerk Marie Hirst both held their offices prior to the ceremony. Hirst said the fact that she is still in office is a reflection of her staff’s ability to perform.

“If it wasn’t for them, then we wouldn’t have the great office we have,” Hirst said. “We love improving and making it easier for people to have that access.”

Bringing the county into the modern age of online access to court records is a primary goal of Hirst’s office. They are serving as a pilot court for Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) for an eFiling system.

Newly appointed County Clerk Sherry Murray said she was nervous but ready to serve her county and maintain the same quality relationship with the city and employees. Murray said she received great advice from her predecessor Shelley Dickerson.

“She told me it was okay if I didn’t know the answers,” Murray said. “Not to stress out, but to find the answer, to figure it out, and that’s the best way to learn.”

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