Changing of the guard: Jeremy O. Ford is sworn in as the new Greenlee County Superior Court Judge | Daily News Byte

Changing of the guard: Jeremy O. Ford is sworn in as the new Greenlee County Superior Court Judge

 | Daily News Byte

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Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Judge Jeremy O. Ford was sworn in as a Greenlee County Superior Court Judge on Friday.

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

Jon Johnson Video/Gila Herald

CLIFTON – After 24 years there will be a new face on the court as the chief justice for Greenlee County this coming January; Jeremy O. Ford was sworn in as the new Greenlee County Superior Court Judge Friday by outgoing Greenlee County Superior Court Judge Monica L. Stauffer.

The ceremony took place in a historic Greenlee County Superior Courtroom and was attended by various dignitaries, friends, family, and co-workers.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: After 24 years, Judge Monica L. Stauffer retired effective Dec. 31, 2022.

Judge Ford served as Greenlee County Attorney before running for and being elected judge.

Former Greenlee County Attorney Derek Rapier (who selected Ford as his successor in the Attorney’s Office) spoke at the ceremony and spoke about outgoing Judge Stauffer, whom he spent most of his career practicing in front of.

“She is outstanding,” he said. “His superiority among his peers is unparalleled . . . Judge Stauffer, before taking the bench, was, I think, without question, the most successful private practice in Greenlee County in probably 50 years. He became a lawyer – especially in the field of family law. The parties appear to get to him first. That’s a great compliment to his standing in our community, and I appreciate the legacy he left behind.”

Rapier then spoke about Ford and said he was surprised by the quality of the lawyer Ford was.

“I wasn’t a top 10 percent kind of guy in law school, Jeremy Ford was,” Rapier said. “And these types of people are highly recruited by the largest and most respected law firms in any state coming out of a prestigious law school like ASU.”

Before swearing in Ford, Judge Stauffer told Judge Ford the four most important things that “belong to a judge; receive him politely, answer wisely, consider soberly, and decide impartially. I’m the best of you.”

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Gila County Superior Court Judge Timothy M. Wright, right, presents incoming Greenlee County Superior Court Judge Jeremy O. Ford with his nameplate.

After administering the oath of office, Judge Ford put on his judge’s robes with the help of his wife, Wendy, who he credits with coming up with the idea of ​​moving to Greenlee County in the first place.

“Greenlee County has become a truly incredible community filled with some of the best people I have ever met,” Judge Ford said. “The opportunities to work here and be a mentor here, are incredible. I got to be with and for some of the best people I’ve ever met.”

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: New judge Jeremy O. Ford gets help from his wife, Wendy, in donning judicial robes.

Judge Ford also thanked his mother and grandmothers, and his wife, Wendy, for dedicating their lives to raising large families and helping others be successful.

Judge Ford was given two nameplates, one for the courtroom and one for his office, and two gavels, one from Judge Stauffer that could be used, and one from Greenlee Investigator Eric Ellison and the County Attorney’s Office that was probably just for in showing. .

“It’s really hard to understand Greenlee County by going through it,” Judge Ford said. “You might see a really nice hole in the ground, you might see some nice farms, and you might ask, ‘why do people want to live here?’ I believe it’s great, but I’ve always said that Greenlee County is about the people. And until you stay here, and until you meet the people, you won’t really understand Greenlee County. This is why beautiful people are there. This is where the awesome community is. And I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve here.”

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Greenlee County Investigator Eric Ellison, right, presents Judge Jeremy O. Ford with a novelty gavel.

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